HVO Photos & Video

Photo & Video Chronology

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September 29, 2014 — Kīlauea


Slow-moving breakouts remain active behind stalled flow front

The June 27th lava flow remains active, with breakouts a short distance behind the stalled flow front.

A normal photograph of the front of the June 27th lava flow is compared here with an equivalent view from a thermal camera. The thermal image shows the extent of active breakouts more clearly. These breakouts have been advancing slowly over the past few days, and were present a short distance upslope of the stalled flow front.

This Quicktime movie gives a quick aerial overview of activity at the front of the June 27th lava flow. The flow remains active, with slow-moving breakouts about 2.5 km (1.6 miles) upslope of Apaʻa St. and 3.5 km (2.2 miles) from Pāhoa Village Road.

September 26, 2014 — Kīlauea


Puʻu ʻŌʻō and the June 27th lava flow

Annotated photo showing Puʻu ʻŌʻō and the vent and upper lava tube for the June 27th lava flow.

Annotated photo showing the terminus of the June 27th lava flow. Small, sluggish breakouts remain active upslope from the stalled front of the flow, near Kaohe Homesteads. More vigorous breakouts are active even farther upslope, midway along the length of the flow and on a pad of lava within the crack system.

September 24, 2014 — Kīlauea


Leading edge of June 27th flow stalls, but activity persists near flow front

The leading edge of the June 27th flow stalled over the weekend, but active breakouts persist near the flow front, a short distance behind this stalled front. Today, lava was slowly advancing on a different front, along the north margin of the flow. The burn scar from a brush fire triggered by the lava this weekend covers much of the lower portion of the photograph.

Left: Another view of the flow front region, looking northeast. Pāhoa can be seen near the top of the photograph, and is about 3.3 km (2.1 miles) from the stalled flow front. Right: Several skylights provided views into the June 27th lava tube today, and the fluid lava stream could be seen moving downslope.

The thermal image on the right provides a different view of the flow front, and clearly shows the scattered breakouts in this area. Most of these active breakouts were at, or upslope from, the slowly advancing flow front on the north margin of the flow. The leading edge of the stalled flow front, not surprisingly, did not have any active breakouts.

Left: A wide view from the summit, looking east. Halemaʻumaʻu Crater occupies the foreground, with the lava lake in the Overlook crater. At the skyline, Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen. The June 27th lava flow is fed from a vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with lava traveling through a lava tube to the flow front. The position of the flow front is marked by a smoke plume as the lava at the front burns vegetation. Right: This Quicktime movie shows an HVO geologist sampling lava on the June 27th lava flow using a rock hammer. The lava is placed into a bucket of water to quench the sample. Lava samples like this are routinely collected for chemical analysis, which provides insight into the magmatic system feeding the eruption.

This comparison of a photograph with a corresponding thermal image shows a typical lobe of pāhoehoe on the June 27th lava flow. The highest surface temperatures in this image are just under 900 Celsius (1650 F), but if one measured the temperature of the lava beneath the thin crust it would be close to 1140 Celsius (2080 F).

September 22, 2014 — Kīlauea


Satellite image shows continued activity near June 27th flow front

This satellite image was captured by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA's Earth Observing 1 satellite. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures, and show active lava. White areas are clouds. For reference compare the flow outline shown here in yellow to the large-scale flow field map provided in the "maps" link above.

Although the front of the June 27th lava flow has stalled over the past few days, the flow remains active with surface breakouts immediately behind the front. These breakouts have expanded the margin of the flow several hundred meters (yards) towards the north. In addition, breakouts are active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and lava has been filling another ground crack over the past few days. The grid shows coordinates in Universal Transverse Mercator, with a grid spacing of one kilometer (0.6 miles). This image shows an example of the satellite data we use to augment our field observations, but also shows one of the major limitations of satellite data - clouds.

September 19, 2014 — Kīlauea


June 27th lava flow continues moving northeast, reaches open ground

The June 27th flow remains active and heading northeast, moving through Kaohe Homesteads. For several weeks the flow has been moving through thick forest, and today the flow front reached the forest boundary and more open ground. Nevertheless, active portions of the flow remain in the forest and fires continue. The flow front today was 2.4 km (1.5 miles) upslope of Apaʻa St.

Left: Another view of the narrow flow front. Kaohe Homesteads is in the lower left portion of the image. The vent for the June 27th lava flow is on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which can be seen on the skyline. Right: View of the flow front, looking north. Pāhoa is located in the upper right portion of the photograph. The flow front today was 3.4 km (2.1 miles) from Pāhoa Village Road.

Views of the flow front from two different angles, with equivalent thermal images for comparison. The thermal images show that surface breakouts were focused on three areas near the flow front: 1) the flow front itself, 2) an area 300 meters (yards) behind the flow front and 3) a larger area about 1 km (0.6 miles) behind the flow front.

Left: A close-up view of the surface of the June 27th lava flow, near the flow front. The pāhoehoe flow is too thin and slow to topple trees as it passes, but instead the lava surrounds the trees and burns through the base. When the trees fall over, the flow surface may have cooled enough that the trunks remain intact. If the surface is hot enough to burn through the fallen trunks, all that remains is a line of ashen residue (see right side of image). Right: This Quicktime movie gives a quick aerial overview of the activity at the front of the June 27th lava flow. Kaohe Homesteads is in the lower left.

September 17, 2014 — Kīlauea


June 27th lava flow continues advancing northeast in Kaohe Homesteads

The June 27th lava flow remains active and continues advancing northeast in the forested, northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads. The flow front today was 2.7 km (1.7 miles) from Apaʻa st. and 3.8 km (2.3 miles) from Pāhoa Village Road. Over past two days, the flow front has advanced at an average rate of 290 m/day (960 ft/day).

Left: Another view of the flow front in the northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads. The leading portion of the flow front narrowed over the past two days and was roughly 150 m (500 ft) wide. Right: A view looking down the axis of the flow at the flow front. Pāhoa is in the upper right portion of the photograph.

Left: A close-up view of the flow surface near the flow front, which consisted of numerous, scattered small pāhoehoe lobes. Right: A view of the leading tip of the flow, which was moving through thick forest.

This Quicktime movie provides a brief aerial overview of activity at the flow front. Kaohe Homesteads is in the lower left.

Left: This thermal image shows the scattered pāhoehoe lobes that are active near the front of the June 27th flow. Right: A view of the flow front from tree level, with the lava hidden behind numerous tall trees.

Lava lake activity continues at Kīlauea's summit

Left: The summit eruption continues, with an active lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. Halemaʻumaʻu fills up most of the image, and the lava lake can be seen near the bottom of the image contained within the smaller Overlook crater. Right: A closer look at the lava lake at Kīlauea's summit. The lake was roughly 53 m (170 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater this morning.

September 15, 2014 — Kīlauea


June 27th flow enters northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads

The June 27th lava flow remains active and continues advancing towards the northeast. Recently, the flow front entered the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, and is currently within the vacant, forested northwest portion of the subdivision. The flow front was 3.3 km (2.1 miles) upslope from Apaʻa Road and 4.3 km (2.7 miles) from Pāhoa Village Road.

Left: Another view of the flow front, in the northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision. Right: A closer view of surface activity on the June 27th lava flow. This pāhoehoe flow consists of many small, scattered, slow-moving lobes burning vegetation.

Left: HVO geologists conduct a VLF (very-low frequency) survey to measure the rate of lava flowing through the lava tube on the June 27th lava flow. Right: An HVO geologist conducts a very-low frequency (VLF) survey of the lava tube to measure the rate of lava flowing through the tube. The measurement consists of two steps. First, a transect of VLF measurements across the roof of the tube is used to measure the cross-sectional area of lava flowing through the tube. Second, a radar gun is used to measure the speed that lava is flowing at that location. An open skylight is required for this speed measurement. By multiplying the cross-sectional area with the velocity, the volume rate of lava flowing through the tube can be estimated. Today's measurement showed a flow rate of 5.8 cubic meters per second (roughly 1500 gallons per second). Tracking the lava supply rate like this can be helpful for anticipating fluctuations in activity at the flow front.

This Quicktime movie provides an aerial view of activity near the front of the June 27th flow, where numerous pāhoehoe lobes are slowly burning vegetation.

This Quicktime movie shows the view through a skylight on the lava tube, which provided a clear view of the flowing lava stream.

September 12, 2014 — Kīlauea


June 27 flow moving to the northeast

As of Friday afternoon, September 12, 2014, the most distal front of the June 27th lava flow had reached a straight-line distance of 14.9 km (9.3 miles) from the source vent on the northeast flank of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone. The flow has continued in the northeast direction that it assumed in the middle of the week and is now only 171 meters (0.1 miles) from the boundary of the Kaohe Homesteads community. The flow is still within thick forest, so that dense plumes of smoke are created as vegetation is consumed. Small breakouts (visible as plumes in the middle distance) are also active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow.

Left: View looking northeast along the terminus of the July 27th flow. Kaohe Homesteads is to the right, and Pāhoa town is in the middle center. The active flow is in the middle left. Right: View from above the middle part of the June 27th flow looking south at a small breakout that is burning forest along the previously existing flow margin. Heiheiahulu cone is in the upper left.

This Quicktime movie provides an aerial view of the flow front and its position relative to Kaohe Homesteads.

The photo on the left is compared here to a thermal image on the right, which provides a clear view of the flow front of the June 27th flow through the thick smoke. The vent for the June 27th flow is on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which can be seen at the top of the normal photograph. After pouring in and out of ground cracks in late August, the flow finally emerged from the cracks around September 3 and began spilling out towards the north. The northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision can be seen in the lower left of the images.

September 10, 2014 — Kīlauea


June 27th flow moves closer to Kaohe Homesteads

The June 27th lava flow remained active Wednesday afternoon, September 10, 2014, with the most distal flow front 14.5 km (9.0 mi; straight-line distance) from the vent on the northeast flank of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, which is visible in the far background. Over the past day, the flow front direction shifted from a north trend to a more northeast trend, bringing the flow closer to the Forest Reserve boundary. The flow continued to advance through thick forest, creating smoke plumes as it engulfed trees and other vegetation. The smell of smoke has been detected far downwind of the flow, but fires are not spreading beyond the margin of the flow. Small, sluggish breakouts of lava (smoke plumes in far distance) also remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow.

Left: View from above the end of the June 27th lava flow, looking along its northeast trend through the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. On the afternoon of September 10, 2014, the flow front was 0.6 km (0.4 mi) from the boundary between the Forest Reserve and Kaohe Homesteads, visible at far right. Right: Smoke plumes indicate the location of the June 27th lava flow, which was 0.6 km (0.4 mi) from the edge of Kaohe Homesteads, visible in foreground, on September 10. The flow was advancing toward the northeast.

This Quicktime movie provides an overview of activity near the front of the June 27th lava flow, and shows the position of the flow front relative to Kaohe Homesteads and Pahoa.

September 8, 2014 — Kīlauea


June 27th flow continues to advance north

Left: The June 27th flow continues its advance toward the north, creating a dense smoke plume as it spreads through the forest. The tip of the active flow today was 13.7 km (8.5 miles) straight-line distance from the vent, and 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. This boundary is the western edge of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, seen in the foreground. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible on the horizon, partly obscured by the smoke plume. The actual length of the flow, measured along its axis, is 15.7 km (9.8 miles). Right: This view shows the active flow front from behind. The lava feeding the flow emerges from a crack parallel to the road at lower right, which goes to the True/Mid-Pacific geothermal well site. Kaohe Homesteads is to the right, Pāhoa is at the upper right, and Ainaloa and Hawaiian Paradise Park are at upper left.

This Quicktime video provides an aerial view of the activity at the front of the June 27th lava flow.

Breakouts remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Several small breakouts persist along the middle part of the June 27th flow, closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Most of these breakouts are burning trees as well, as seen in this photo. The flow front is in the distance, at upper left, and the closer smoke plumes are from these other breakouts.