HVO Photos & Video

Photo & Video Chronology

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April 9, 2015 — Kīlauea


Scattered breakouts northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō continue

Breakouts continue northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō in three main areas: 1) at the northern base of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, 2) north of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa and 3) about 6 km (4 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This photograph looks east and shows the breakout about 6 km from Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This breakout consists of several narrow lobes that have expanded the June 27th lava flow margin by a minor amount, with a small amount of vegetation burning.

Left: A closer look at the leading tip of the farthest downslope breakout. The tip of the breakout was burning forest, and was 6.9 km (4.3 miles) northeast of the June 27th vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Right: This photograph looks upslope and shows another narrow lobe on the breakout that is roughly 6 km (4 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This lobe was moving along the south margin of the June 27th flow.

April 3, 2015 — Kīlauea


Breakouts persist northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Breakouts remain active in three general areas near Puʻu ʻŌʻō: 1) at the northern base of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, 2) just north of Kahaualeʻa, and 3) the most distal breakout, about 6 km (4 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This photograph shows much of the most distal breakout, a portion of which was burning forest. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen near the top of the photograph.

A closer look at the lava flow field near Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the upper left portion of the photograph. Slightly above and to the right of the center of the photograph, the light colored area of lava is the active breakout (which started on February 21) on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The small forested cone of Kahaualeʻa is just to the left of the center of the photograph.

The breakout north of Kahaualeʻa has one lobe that has traveled along the west side of the perched lava channel that was active in late 2007. This breakout consists of blue glassy pāhoehoe, which is easily visible in the photograph on the left. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. Active (flowing) portions of the breakout are shown by yellow and white colors, while the red and purple areas show hot, but solidified, portions of the surface crust.

In the time since our last overflight (March 24), a new collapse pit has formed in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater. This circular pit can be seen in the lower left portion of the photograph, and measures about 27 m (roughly 90 ft) in diameter. Numerous hot cracks were observed in this general area during previous visits on foot.

A closer look at the new pit in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater. Views inside the crater with the naked eye were obscured by thick fume, but the thermal images (right) revealed two areas of ponded lava, separated by a pile of collapse rubble, deep within the pit. Measurements using the thermal camera images indicated that the lava pond surface was roughly 24 m (about 80 ft) below the rim of the pit.

March 24, 2015 — Kīlauea


Active breakouts near Puʻu ʻŌʻō; Northeast pit in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater

Left: Breakouts are active in three general areas near Puʻu ʻŌʻō: at the northern base of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, north Kahaualeʻa, and about 6 km (4 mi) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The distal breakout and the breakout north of Kahaualeʻa are both burning forest. There is no eruptive activity downslope from the distal breakout (nothing active near Pāhoa). Right: There are several incandescent and outgassing hornitos on the floor of Puʻu ʻŌʻō's crater, including the one shown here, which is at the northeast edge of the crater. Recent flows from the hornito appear black.

March 17, 2015 — Kīlauea


Re-establishing VLF eruption rate monitor

Left: After establishing an appropriate location to resume VLF measurements over the June 27th lava tube to estimate the cross-sectional area of lava within the tube, HVO geologists make the measurements, sometimes requiring walking through volcanic gases. Right: The VLF radio wave, transmitted from the Lualualei Naval Base on Oʻahu, is received by the handheld device. The numbers are read and recorded. These data will allow the estimation of the cross-sectional area of lava within the tube.

HVO geologists still sample lava

HVO geologists get fresh lava samples as close to the vent as possible. Once the sample is scooped from the pāhoehoe lobe, it is quickly quenched in a bucket of water to stop the growth of any crystals and to preserve the composition of the liquid lava. Once cooled, the sample is sent first to UH Hilo for quick analysis of a few components and prepared for a fuller analysis of its chemical components by a lab on the mainland. These data are used, with HVO's geophysical monitoring data, as another way to assess any changes that may be occurring within Kīlauea volcano.

Blue-glass pāhoehoe

First recognized in Kalapana in 1990, these pāhoehoe flows appear bluish with dense, glassy crusts. These lavas are generally observed later in the life of an inflated pāhoehoe flow. The degassed nature of the lava promotes the formation of solid glass, rather than bubbly, crusts. The bluish color may be the result of the natural iron and magnesium in the lava.

The upper end of the June 27th lava tube

Left: Most of the ground work today was to establish the location and estimated size of the two lava tubes coming out of the June 27th vent area on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone. The area in this image is between the cone's north flank and a perched pond that formed last summer (arc-shaped feature on the right side of the image). The visual image shows the general location of the main tube before it splits downslope. Right: This infrared view of the area in Fig. 4a shows that the area is still quite hot and the tube location is possibly obscured although the few hotter strands may be indicators of the tube's location.

March 09 breakout has reached the north tree line

The March 09 breakouts, which issued from the vicinity of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa, has advanced northward (to the left) and reached the forest at the north edge of the Kahaualeʻa flows and was burning vegetation along its edges. The most recent active pāhoehoe lobes from the February 21st breakout are visible in the foreground.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater again hosts a small lava lake near its southern edge (lower left) in addition to a hornito in the northeast corner (near right edge of image) with several glowing holes at its top.

Active portion of the February 21st breakout

Pāhoehoe lobes continue to be active at the leading edge of the February 21st breakout.

The leading edge is completely inactive

As reported since March 12, the leading edge just upslope of the Pahoa Marketplace, is inactive. The active breakouts noted today were more than 14 km (8.7 mi) straight-line distance from the Marketplace.

March 10, 2015 — Kīlauea


Upper Tube Breakouts

Left: There were two breakouts from the upper tube system on and at the foot of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Cone (right center). The largest and most active was the breakout nearest Puʻu Kahaualeʻa in the left center of the photograph. Right: Closeup of the new breakout near Puʻu Kahaualeʻa.

The Leading Edge

The leading edge of the lobe nearest Pahoa Marketplace is still stalled but, for the past few days, a new breakout has been advancing along its southern margin and is approaching the Apaʻa St. firebreak.

Still Plenty of Breakouts

Several breakouts were active upslope of the stalled front. This breakout issued from an inflated tumulus along the north margin of the June 27th flow.

Halemaʻumaʻu

The thin crust over the lava lake within the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook crater was moving slowly to the southeast. During our overflight, there was no spattering and wispy gas emissions allowed clear views.

March 6, 2015 — Kīlauea


Breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow front, with recent reduction in activity

The leading tip of the June 27th flow remains stalled, but breakouts persist upslope of the stalled tip. Over the past few days, summit deflation has led to a reduction in overall surface activity on the June 27th flow, particularly in the upslope portion of the flow field near Puʻu ʻŌʻō. In this photo, a recent small breakout (light colored area) has reached the flow boundary, triggering a small brush fire.

Another small breakout upslope of the stalled flow front, triggering a small brush fire. Low clouds and rain prevented wider views of the flow activity today.

Summit lava lake level has dropped with recent deflation

Summit deflation over the past few days has been associated with a steadily dropping lava lake level. This morning, the lake was 72 m (240 ft) below the rim of the Overlook crater.

February 27, 2015 — Kīlauea


Active breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow front

The leading tip of the June 27th flow remains stalled about 500 meters (550 yards) from Highway 130, but scattered breakouts remain active upslope of the stalled tip.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the leading portion of the June 27th flow. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image. In the thermal image, the active breakouts are visible as yellow and white pixels, and these areas are scattered upslope of the stalled tip of the flow.

Left: Another view of the leading tip of the June 27th flow, looking downslope towards Highway 130. Right: This photograph looks southeast at the fork in the June 27th flow that is just west of Kaohe Homesteads. The east branch (top portion of photo) crossed Apaʻa St. and entered Pāhoa in late October, and this branch is now inactive. The west branch (lower portion of photo) has headed towards areas at the north end of Pāhoa, and remains active.

Breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains active

The breakout on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō that began last weekend remains active, but has advanced only a minor distance over the past four days. The new breakout is visible as the light-colored area just to the right of the center of the photograph. Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater is in the upper left portion of the photograph.

Left: A closer look at some of the activity at the breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Right: An HVO geologist sets up a time-lapse camera to monitor the breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Clear views in Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater

This view looks north and shows Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Much of the original cone has been covered by subsequent lava flows, many of which poured out of the crater. Within the crater, a depression holds a number of smaller pits, some of which contain active lava ponds.

Left: This view looks west and shows the depression within Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater. This depression formed following the start of the June 27th lava flow. Right: A closer look at a glowing hole in the northeast pit in Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater. Recent overflows from the opening created the dark flows filling the bottom of the pit.

Left: This lava pond was active in the southern pit in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The diameter of the lava pond was roughly 18 m (60 ft). Weak spattering was active on the pond margin. Right: A closer look at the hole in the northeast pit. An active, bubbling lava surface could be seen a couple meters (yards) below the rim.

February 23, 2015 — Kīlauea


Breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow front; new breakout at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

The leading tip of the June 27th lava flow remains stalled, but breakouts persist upslope of the stalled tip. Today, one of these breakouts (marked by the arrow) had advanced a short distance towards the north, reaching one of the fire break roads.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the inactive flow tip. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. Although active breakouts are absent at the inactive tip of the flow, breakouts are present roughly 450 m (490 yards) behind the tip, and are also scattered further upslope.

New breakout at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

This photograph looks east, and shows the breakout on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō that began over the weekend. The breakout, visible as the lighter colored region in the center of the photograph, occurred from the area of the June 27th vent (upper right portion of photograph).

Left: A small lobe of pāhoehoe on the new breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Right: A closer look at some of the activity on the new breakout on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

February 19, 2015 — Kīlauea


Active breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow tip

The leading tip of the June 27th flow has been stalled for several weeks, but scattered breakouts have persisted upslope. On today's overflight, one of these breakouts was active south of the stalled tip and about 650 meters (0.4 miles) northwest of the Pāhoa transfer station.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the inactive flow tip. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. Although active breakouts are absent at the inactive tip of the flow, breakouts are present roughly 500 m (550 yards) behind the tip, and are also scattered further upslope.

Left: Another view of the leading portion of the June 27th flow. Persistent breakouts a short distance upslope of the stalled tip have resulted in widening of this section of the flow. Right: Another view of the leading portion of the June 27th flow, looking upslope. Pahoa Marketplace is in the lower right corner of the photograph. Mauna Loa can be seen near the top of the photograph.

Summit eruption continues

The winds today were carrying the gas plume from Halemaʻumaʻu towards the northeast. Volcano Village is in the bottom portion of the photograph and Mauna Loa is in the upper right.

February 10, 2015 — Kīlauea


Active breakouts continue upslope of stalled flow front

The leading tip of the June 27th flow has been stalled roughly 500 meters (550 yards) upslope of Highway 130 for several weeks, but breakouts have persisted upslope of this stalled tip. Today, the closest active breakout to the flow tip was roughly 300 meters (330 yards) upslope of the tip.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the inactive flow tip. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. Although active breakouts are absent at the inactive tip of the flow, breakouts are present just a short distance behind the tip, and are also scattered further upslope.

Left: Roughly 6 km (4 miles) upslope of the stalled tip of the flow, a small breakout was active at a major fork on the June 27th flow. The lobe extending off the top of the photograph entered Pāhoa in October, and is now inactive. The lobe extending off the left edge of the photograph is the currently active lobe. Right: A breakout was also active farther upslope, closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This breakout, visible as the light gray surface, has reached the forest boundary and triggered several small brush fires.

Summit eruption at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continues

The summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continues with relatively steady activity. Today, spattering was active along the south margin of the lava lake.