HVO Photos & Video

Photo & Video Chronology

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April 7, 2014 — Kīlauea


Kahaualeʻa 2 flow continues moving through remote forest, more lava pond activity in Puʻu ʻŌʻō

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remains active, with scattered pāhoehoe breakouts driving slow advancement of the flow field through the forest. Breakouts at the flow margins trigger forest fires, and numerous plumes of smoke. Today, the flow front was 8.2 km (5.1 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

A comparison of a thermal image (left) with a normal photograph (right) of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow front. Brighter colors in the thermal image depict hotter surface temperatures, with white and yellow areas showing active pāhoehoe breakouts. These breakouts are distributed in a scattered fashion across this portion of the flow field. The vent for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, visible in the upper left of the photograph.

Left: A view of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater from the north, looking southeast. In the foreground, the crater rim has red hues due to oxidized cinder and spatter from the early days of Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the 1980s. In the center of the photograph, the black crater floor consists of lava flows erupted in the last several years, with several spatter cones built upon these flows. Near the left edge of the photograph, a small perched lava pond has been active in recent months. Right: A closer view of the lava pond in the northeast portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The lava pond has partially closed over the past several weeks, and today was about 5 meters (yards) in diameter - about half of the diameter from two weeks ago. The pond was spattering, with small bits of airborne spatter visible in this photograph.

March 21, 2014 — Kīlauea


Kahaualeʻa 2 flow and lava pond in Puʻu ʻŌʻō remain active

Mar 21, 2014: The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remains active, with the active flow front slowly moving through thick forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The flow front today was 8.2 km (5.1 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which is visible in the center of the photograph, although partly obscured by fume and smoke from burning trees.

Mar 21, 2014: The small (10 meters, or 30 feet, wide) lava pond within the northeast spatter cone on Puʻu ʻŌʻō experiences cyclic rises and falls of the lava surface called "gas pistoning," driven by the buildup and release of gas in the pond. At the time of this photograph, the pond surface had dropped following the release of gas.

Left: Mar 21, 2014: (Left) The lava pond surface at its highest level observed during our field work today—just before the release of gas caused it to drop during the fall cycle of the gas pistoning. Right: (Right) Spattering at the edge of the pond during the fall cycle.

Mar 21, 2014: The release of gas from the lava pond at Puʻu ʻŌʻō nearly obscures the spatter (fluid fragments of molten lava) being thrown about a meter (3 ft) high.

Lava lake activity in Halemaʻumaʻu continues

Mar 21, 2014: The lava lake at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano remains active. During our observation today, the lava lake surface was about 40 m (131 ft) below the rim of the vent (the Overlook crater) within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.

March 7, 2014 — Kīlauea


Kahaualeʻa 2 flow still moving through forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and a lava pond in Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Mar 7, 2014: The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remains active, and the active flow front is moving through thick forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The flow front today was 7.9 km (4.9 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible in the upper left of the photograph, and is partly obscured by fume.

Left: Mar 7, 2014: Another view of the active flow front, which is burning forest and causing scattered fires. Mauna Loa (left) and Mauna Kea (right, with a snow-covered summit) are on the skyline in this wide photograph. At the very left edge of the photo, the plume from Kīlauea's summit lava lake can be seen. Right: Mar 7, 2014: View of Puʻu ʻŌʻō from the south. Puʻu ʻŌʻō's tan-colored south flank is composed of cinder and spatter erupted in its early years (mid-1980s). Since that time, the cone has partially collapsed and lava flows have erupted on the flanks and within the crater, sometimes spilling over the crater rim. In the crater, there have recently been several small spatter cones emitting fume. Mauna Kea's snow-covered summit is visible in the distance.

Mar 7, 2014: The northeast spatter cone has had a small (10 meters, or 30 feet, wide) lava pond, which experiences a cyclic rise and fall of the lava surface called "gas pistoning", driven by the buildup and release of gas in the pond. This photograph captured the moment of gas release, which involved vigorous spattering. In the upper left, the plume from Kīlauea's summit lava lake can be seen in front of Mauna Loa, and in the upper right Mauna Kea is visible.

Mar 7, 2014: This Quicktime movie shows the lava pond in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, which was undergoing "gas pistoning". Gas pistoning is the cyclic rise and fall of the lava surface, driven by the buildup and release of gas in the lava pond. This sequence shows the drop of the lava level, which corresponds with vigorous spattering and agitation of the pond surface.

Left: Mar 7, 2014: A close-up of the lava pond in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, with snow-covered Mauna Kea in the distance. Right: Mar 7, 2014: This thermal image, taken from the helicopter, shows an area of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow near the flow front. This area consists of numerous small, scattered pāhoehoe lobes. Areas which are white and yellow are active, flowing pāhoehoe lava, while red and purple areas are recently active, but still warm, surfaces.

Continued lava lake activity in Halemaʻumaʻu

Mar 7, 2014: The lava lake in the Overlook crater, within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, at Kīlauea's summit remains active. Today, winds carried the plume towards the north, providing a clear view of the persistent spattering area in the southeast portion of the lake.

Mar 7, 2014: This Quicktime movie shows Kīlauea's summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. A persistent spatter source is active on the lake margin.

February 20, 2014 — Kīlauea


Kahaualeʻa 2 flow still active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

View of the flow front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, looking west. The flow front has focused into a new lobe that is slowly migrating through thick forest, triggering scattered forest fires. The smoke from these fires seems to be "seeding" the cloud above it. The active flow front was 7.4 km (4.6 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Mauna Loa can be seen in the distance.

Left: Looking northeast from Puʻu ʻŌʻō, the smoke coming from forest fires at the front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow can be seen in the distance. In the foreground, thick fume is coming from the Kahaualeʻa 2 lava tube, which is supplying lava to the flow front. Right: View of the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. This small cone is also the vent area for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. The cone has recently hosted a small lava pond, but today this seemed to be crusted over. See the time-lapse sequences below to see recent activity at this cone.

Thermal image of the front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. Yellow and white areas depict active breakouts, while red areas are cooler, inactive portions of the flow. Over the past week a new lobe has pushed east, between lobes that were active in November and January. The tip of this new lobe was 7.4 km (4.6 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Compare this view to the February 20 map (see link above).

Spattering and gas pistoning in the northeast cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō

This selection of images shows activity at the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō over the past two weeks. The lava pond was undergoing gas pistoning, a gradual buildup and release of gas in the lava pond that is often associated with spattering and lava level changes. For scale, the lava pond is about 10 m (30 feet) across.

More images of the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō, taken with a time-lapse camera.

This Quicktime movie shows a time-lapse sequence of activity at the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater on February 9-10. Rapid fluctuations in the height of the lava pond are caused by gas pistoning, which is the gradual buildup and release of gas in the pond. Mauna Kea is visible in the upper right portion of the frame. The sequence was captured by an inexpensive time-lapse camera, whose plastic housing was warped by the extreme heat.

February 9, 2014 — Kīlauea


Time-lapse sequence of Halemaʻumaʻu degassing plume

This Quicktime movie is a time-lapse sequence from a camera in the HVO observation tower, and shows one week of activity at Kīlauea's summit vent in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The sequence starts on February 3 at 12:01 am and ends on February 9 at 11:59 pm. The continuously active lava lake produces a degassing plume that is normally carried by the tradewinds to the southwest (right in this view), but tradewinds are unstable in winter months and wind directions fluctuate. The path of the plume determines which areas will experience the unpleasant effects of vog. In the lower right is Jaggar Museum, and park visitors can be seen enjoying the view from Jaggar Overlook. Note that the camera used here is sensitive to both visible and near-infrared wavelengths, and some of the colors (particularly of vegetation) will be slightly different than what we see with the naked eye.

February 7, 2014 — Kīlauea


Lava flows remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and a lava pond in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater

A wide view of activity from the east rift zone to the summit. In the foreground, Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater emits fume from numerous sources on the crater floor. One of these cones hosts a small lava pond, and can be seen at the far right edge of the photo, marked by a small bit of incandescence. Snow-covered Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are in the distance (left and right sides of photo, respectively). In front of Mauna Loa, the plume from the summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu crater can be seen drifting west.

Left: A closer view of the lava pond at the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The pond is about 10 m (about 30 ft) wide, and was undergoing cycles of gas pistoning. The lava level would slowly and quietly rise a meter (yard) or more over about five minutes, and vigorous spattering would commence. As the gas was released, the lava level would drop to its previous level and the cycle would begin again. Right: Pāhoehoe breakouts were scattered at the far end of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow today, as far as 6.9 km (4.3 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This photo shows some typical activity on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, with snow-covered Mauna Kea in the distance.

A close-up view of the lava pond in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The lava surface was quietly rising when this photo was taken. When the lava reached a critical level, vigorous spattering would begin at the large area of incandescence seen here. The rim of the lava pond is covered in a thick coating of spatter from similar events.

February 2, 2014 — Kīlauea


Satellite image shows Kīlauea's activity from summit to east rift zone

This image was acquired by the Earth Observing 1 satellite's Advanced Land Imager sensor on February 2, and shows Kīlauea's summit and east rift zone. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Active lava is shown by the bright red pixels, present at the summit - in the lava lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater - as well as on the east rift zone on the far end of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow (click "map" link above for the current flow field map, which shows the extent of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow). These active flows are slowly advancing into the forest, and extend to about 6.7 km (4.2 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone. Satellite images such as this help fill in observational gaps between field visits.

February 1, 2014 — Kīlauea


Typical spattering activity at the summit lava lake

A view of the summit lava lake at dusk. The lava lake is contained within a crater informally called the "Overlook" crater (due to its position immediately below the former Halemaʻumaʻu visitor overlook), and this crater is set within the larger Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The photo was taken from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The lava lake is about 50 m (160 ft) below the rim of the Overlook crater. The level has dropped slightly over the past day, leaving a black veneer of lava on the crater walls just above the current margin and easily visible in this photograph. In the southeast portion of the lake, a persistent spattering source ejects spatter more than halfway up the Overlook crater walls.

This Quicktime movie shows typical activity at the summit lava lake. Spattering at the summit lava lake has been common over the past several years, and today's winds provided a clear view of the primary spatter area on the lake margin. The lava lake today was about 50 m (160 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The spattering is driven by bursting gas bubbles, with spatter thrown as high as 30 m (100 ft).

January 28, 2014 — Mauna Loa


Winter storm deposits snow on Mauna Loa's summit

This Quicktime video shows a time-lapse sequence spanning from dawn to dusk on Tuesday, January 28, using images collected by our webcam near the summit of Mauna Loa Volcano (13,680 ft above sea level). The dawn is sunny with clear views across the summit caldera (Mokuʻāweoweo), but this clear weather soon deteriorates into thick clouds and steady snowfall as a winter storm arrives. This video shows the potential for rapidly changing weather conditions in Hawaiʻi's alpine zones.

January 24, 2014 — Kīlauea


Brief interruption to Kahaualeʻa 2 flow advance; spattering lava pond in Puʻu ʻŌʻō

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow has been advancing through forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō for the past several months, but last week deflation at the summit of Kīlauea led to a reduction in lava supply and a shutdown to the flow front as active breakouts diminished. Over the past week summit inflation has returned, and new breakouts have appeared on the flow, but well behind the former flow front. Because the active breakouts at the flow margin have shut down, there was little smoke from forest fires today. If the new breakouts continue to advance they will expand the Kahaualeʻa 2 into the forest once again and fires will resume.

This thermal image shows the front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. Summit deflation a week ago caused a reduction in lava supply to the flow and the flow front stalled, and is now inactive. Over the past few days, resumed summit inflation has driven new breakouts (shown by white and yellow colors) on the flow that are behind the stalled flow front. The vent for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, marked in the upper left. Compare this thermal image to the visual image above.

Left: This Quicktime movie shows a lava pond, about 15 m (50 ft) in diameter, on the east rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Several small spatter sources are active on the pond margin, and release gas from within the pond. Lava pond activity like this is common in Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Right: This Quicktime movie shows weak gas pistoning in the lava pond on the east rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Gas pistoning is the cyclic buildup and release of gas within the pond, and is common in Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

This Quicktime movie shows some of the spattering associated with the gas pistoning, in which the spattering acts as an outlet for gas accumulating in the pond. Note how the crust in the center of the pond is fluctuating. Lava pond activity and gas pistoning are common in Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

This thermal image shows the lava pond on the east rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō from above. The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius. The pond is nearly circular, and has surface crust temperatures between 300 and 400 C (570-750 Fahrenheit - orange colors). The two spatter sources on the pond margin expose fresh, incandescent lava which has temperatures around 1100 C (2000 F) - well above the limit of the camera at this setting (which is 550 C, or 1020 F).

Left: View of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, looking northeast. In the upper left, a line of fume sources marks the path of the lava tube feeding the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. Right: Closer view of the northeast spatter cone on the east rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Deflation last week resulted in the top of this small cone to collapse, and with resumed inflation a lava pond has filled the new pit. The northeast spatter cone is also the vent area for the Kahaualeʻa 2 lava flow, and the path of the lava tube is marked by the two incandescent skylights.

The lava pond at the northeast cone had several spatter sources active on the pond margin, throwing spatter to a height of a few meters (yards).

Left: A clear view of the lava pond at the northeast cone, on the east rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. View is towards the northeast. Several small spatter sources are active on the pond margin. Right: Several other spatter cones were active in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater today, producing loud jetting and hissing sounds as gas is forced through narrow incandescent openings.

Typical fluctuations in Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake level

The summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater dropped slightly last week in response to summit deflation, but has returned to higher levels with resumed inflation. Fluctuations like this have been common during the summit eruption. The lake is currently at a level that has been typical for the past year.