HVO Photos & Video

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November 23, 2014 — Kīlauea


Small surface flow near crack system west of Kahoe Homesteads

One of many small pāhoehoe toes and surface flows noted by HVO geologists this morning in the area near the crack system where lava partially filled, and flowed out of a crack, around September 6.

November 22, 2014 — Kīlauea


Satellite image shows areas of active breakouts on June 27th lava flow

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.

Although the farthest tip of the June 27th lava flow, in Pāhoa, is stalled, this image shows that breakouts remain active upslope. These breakouts are focused in two areas. First, there is a breakout about 4 km (2.5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Second, breakouts are active in the area of ground cracks farther downslope. The farthest tip of these breakouts has advanced a short distance north over the past day and was 5.8 km (3.6 miles) upslope of Apaʻa St. as measured along a straight line.

November 20, 2014 — Kīlauea


Breakouts remain active around ground crack system and well site

The farthest downslope breakouts today are still situated around the ground crack system, near the abandoned well site. The front of these breakouts was about 500 m (0.3 miles) northeast of the well site, and about 1.9 km (1.2 miles) west of Kaohe Homesteads. These breakouts were covering the existing flow and burning forest on its margins.

Left: Much of the active lava was covering the existing flow around the ground crack system, with small portions entering the forest at the flow margins. The activity in the forest triggered brush fires and frequent methane explosions. Right: An HVO geologist examines a ground crack into which lava was pouring near the flow margin, producing large amounts of steam.

November 19, 2014 — Kīlauea


Lowermost breakout in crack system north of abandoned well site

Smoke from burning vegetation marks the edges of small breakouts from the June 27th lava-tube system north of the abandoned geothermal well site (middle left). This was the lowermost breakout as of this morning, located approximately 12 km (7.5 mi) straight line distance from Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Smoke and steam from breakouts upslope are also visible in the distance. Note yellow-colored helicopter for scale (middle right). Photograph courtesy of Volcano Helicopters, taken before 11 am November 19, 2014.

November 17, 2014 — Kīlauea


Stalled lava flows near Pāhoa and activity upslope of Cemetery Road/Apaʻa Street

Active breakouts from tube system near Puʻu Kahaualeʻa approximately 1.8 km (1.1 mi) downslope of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Photo is looking uprift, or toward the southwest. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is on the skyline in the middle of the photo.

Left: A geologist takes a sample of molten lava and quenches it in a bucket of cold water to "freeze" the crystalline structure. Lava samples are collected once a week to track the chemistry of the erupted lava over time. Right: Geologists survey the cross-sectional area of the lava tube using Very Low Frequency (VLF) measurements.

Left: View looking downhill toward the stalled tip of the flow and Pāhoa Village Road. The transfer station is visible in the left of photo with stalled lava just within the boundary. No active lava breakouts were observed in this lowest part of the flow and below the crack system. Right: Burning vegetation at breakouts along margins of flow about mid-way down the flow field above the crack system. Photo is looking upslope toward Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Thermal images from Friday (November 14) to Monday (November 17) show the decline in activity levels around the flow front over the weekend. While sluggish breakouts were observed near the cemetery in Pāhoa over the weekend, these breakouts are now inactive. Furthermore, today there were no significant surface breakouts in the area immediately upslope of Apaʻa St./Cemetery Rd. Only one tiny hotspot was visible in this area, about 1 km (0.6 miles) upslope of Cemetery Rd., which might be a single small breakout. Although activity has stalled in this portion of the June 27th lava flow, the other photos from today (see above) indicate that new breakouts are present farther upslope on the flow field.

A comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image of the new breakout near Puʻu Kahaualeʻa. The breakout consists of two separate lobes, with the longer, and more active, one traveling northeast along the base of the 2007 perched lava channel.

Left: In addition to the large breakout near Kahaualeʻa shown above, there was a series of smaller breakouts that appeared over the past day just upslope of the ground crack system, and about 8 km (5 miles) downslope of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Right: A comparison of a photograph and a thermal image of an HVO geologist sampling lava from the leading tip of the new breakout that originated near Kahaualeʻa. The recently active, but cooling portions of the flow (red and purple areas in upper left portion of image) have average surface temperatures around 300 C (572 F). The actively flowing area in the center of the photograph that the geologist is sampling from (yellow and white colors) has surface temperatures between 600 and 970 C (1100-1800 F). The lava hidden beneath the crust remains well insulated, and previous studies have shown the lava has temperatures around 1140 C (roughly 2000 F).

November 16, 2014 — Kīlauea


Sluggish breakouts remain active near cemetery, with additional breakouts upslope

Slowly moving breakouts were active a short distance north of the cemetery, and were 630 meters (0.4 miles) upslope of Pāhoa Village Rd.

Left: Inflation along the lava tube has created a long ridge with a deep, semi-continuous crack along the ridge centerline (right side of image). The peak of the ridge, by rough estimate, is about 4 meters (13 feet) above the original ground surface. This photo looked northeast along the trend of the tube, just south of the cemetery. The short section of uncovered road is the cemetery access road. Right: A close look into a tree mold on a recently active portion of the June 27th lava flow.

Earlier in the week lava reached the outer fence of the transfer station, sending several small cascades through the fence and down the embankment. Burning of the asphalt continued for several days. Now that burning has ceased at the transfer station, a closer look at these features was possible. Note that the lava which stalled at the fence line subsequently inflated to a height slightly greater than that of the fence.

November 15, 2014 — Kīlauea


Active breakouts persist on June 27th flow

The HVO field crew today reports that scattered breakouts remain active on the June 27th flow. This photo shows the most distant active breakout from Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and the closest breakout to Pāhoa Village Road. This breakout was a short distance north of the cemetery and roughly 650 meters (0.4 miles) upslope of Pāhoa Village Road.

November 14, 2014 — Kīlauea


Breakouts remain active upslope of stalled flow front

The June 27th lava flow remains active, with scattered breakouts upslope of the stalled flow front. The closest active breakouts to Pāhoa Village Road were a short distance north of the cemetery, and approximately 700 meters (0.4 miles) upslope of Pāhoa Village Road. Most activity, however, was upslope of Apaʻa St./Cemetery Rd. A portion of this activity was focused along a lobe that was upslope of the transfer station, about 230 meters (250 yards) upslope of Apaʻa St.

Left: This photo shows a close up of the flow around Cemetery Rd./Apaʻa St. In the lower right, the partially buried cemetery can be seen. Just above the center of the photo, lava reached the southeast portion of the transfer station. The house destroyed earlier this week is across the street from the transfer station. The broad lobe of lava upslope of the transfer station was still active today, and moving through thick vegetation, producing smoke. Right: Another view of the Apaʻa St./Cemetery Rd. area, looking towards the east. Lava reached the southeast portion of the transfer station, but stalled. Two small breakouts were active near the transfer station today, but had not expanded the flow margin significantly. At the top of the photograph, buildings situated along Pāhoa Village Road can be seen.

This shows a comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image of the flow front. The white box shows the approximate extent of the thermal image. Although the leading tip of the flow stalled on October 30, breakouts remain active upslope around the cemetery, transfer station, and farther upslope. White and yellow colors in the thermal image show the areas of active breakouts.

A close up of activity near the transfer station, shown by a normal photograph and a thermal image. The thermal image shows the extent of active breakouts much more clearly than the naked eye. For instance, two small breakouts around the transfer station (marked by two arrows) are obvious in the thermal image but difficult to see in the normal photograph.

Increase in active breakouts around transfer station and cemetery over past week

These thermal images compare activity around the flow front on November 5 and 14, 2014. White and yellow colors show areas of active breakouts. On November 5 relatively few breakouts were active in this portion of the June 27th flow, with a few small breakouts near the cemetery and one breakout a few hundred meters upslope of the transfer station. On November 14, however, scattered breakouts were abundant in this area, with new activity significantly expanding the flow margins around the cemetery and a new lobe active upslope of the transfer station.

November 13, 2014 — Kīlauea


Transfer Station Lava Terminus

Terminus of the flow entering the Pāhoa transfer station. Compare to a similar image taken on November 11. There are no active toes of lava in the image, but the lava is still hot enough to burn the asphalt beneath, creating visible white smoke.

Breakout downslope of the Pāhoa transfer station

Breakout of pāhoehoe lava downslope of the house that burned on November 10. The photo is looking northwest.

Burst Tumuli

Left: As inflation occurs within the core of a pāhoehoe flow, a tumulus (http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/images/pglossary/tumulus.php), or domed hill, can form. Occasionally the pressure within the flow can exceed the strength of the pāhoehoe crust, resulting in an outpouring of lava from the core of the tumulus. Lava burst from this tumulus, left side of photo along the skyline, approximately 35 yards downslope of the cemetery. A rocky block, presumably from the top of the tumulus, rests where the outpouring of lava began. Right: Another view of the burst tumulus, looking northwest. The rocky block is visible in the center left of the image.

Left: A view looking along the transfer station's outer fence, which lava burst through recently. Lava then flowed down the embankment onto the low access road (right side of photo). Right: An HVO geologist encounters a small brush fire along the margin of the lobe that was active a few hundred meters upslope of the transfer station.

November 12, 2014 — Kīlauea


June 27th flow lobes active upslope and downslope from Apaʻa Street

Left: Lava continues to advance downslope in several places along the distal part of the June 27th lava flow, as seen in this photo. The most active breakout is the flow to the right, which forms a relatively narrow finger about 360 meters (390 yards) upslope from Apaʻa Street. Other breakouts include a tiny lobe that is encroaching on the solid waste transfer station, the narrow flow that destroyed and bypassed the house across the street from the transfer station, and weak activity near the cemetery. The view is looking to the east. Right: The small breakout near the solid waste transfer station began spilling into the truck access road that loops around the transfer station. This road is quite a bit lower than the transfer station buildings, and it will likely take a few days for it to fill up, if the breakout remains active. The smoke at upper left is a different breakout, which destroyed the house just across the street from the transfer station a few days ago. The view is to the east-northeast.

This photo shows the distal part of the June 27th flow looking toward the southwest. The stalled tip of the flow is barely cut off at the left side of the photo.

Left: The house which was recently destroyed by lava is just below the center of the photo. Lava bypassed the garage, which still stands at the center of the photo. Lava briefly entered the fish pond next to the house, before continuing downslope. Also visible is the small active flow next to the transfer station, and the larger, more rapidly moving finger about 360 meters (390 yards) upslope from Apaʻa Street at upper right. The smoke at upper left marks another breakout widening the flow into the adjacent forest. The view is to the southwest. Right: Lava flows continue to encroach on the Pāhoa Japanese Cemetery, with the latest activity there coming right up to the edge of the green-roofed shelter. An inflated ridge 34 meters high (1013 feet high) cuts across the cemetery (visible on the near side of the cemetery in the photo), and is the source of the recent and active lava visible at the bottom of the photo.

A comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image of the leading tip of the June 27th flow. The stalled flow front exhibits lower surface temperatures (red, purple colors), as it has been stalled for over a week. Upslope, however, scattered breakouts are active and have much higher surface temperatures (white, yellow colors).

Another view of the activity near the transfer station, shown by a normal photograph and a thermal image. The white arrows show corresponding points of reference. The left arrow marks the tip of this small lobe (one of many active today), which was approaching Apaʻa St. Small cascades of lava can be seen flowing down the embankment surrounding the transfer station.