HVO Photos & Video

Photo & Video Chronology

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April 26, 2015 — Kīlauea


Lava lake reaches new high level

Left: This photo shows the lava lake in the Overlook crater this morning, when it reached to within 3 m (10 ft) of the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu. This is the highest the lava lake has reached during the current summit eruption. Right: This photo shows another view of the lava lake, from a different perspective, when it was at its highest level.

Left: This is a view of spattering at the east corner of the lava lake this morning. Right: Another view of spattering this morning.

April 25, 2015 — Kīlauea


Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake continues to rise

Left: The lava lake within the Overlook crater in Halemaʻumaʻu, at Kīlauea volcano, continues to rise. It was measured at 12 m (~39 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu at about 8 AM this morning, when this photo was taken. Right: This grainy evening photo shows the lake at 6:30 PM, when it was a mere 7 m (23 ft) below the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor.

This photo, taken at mid-day, shows the lava lake as seen from the west side of Halemaʻumaʻu, which offers a different perspective. The lava lake was about 10 m (33 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu at this time.

April 24, 2015 — Kīlauea


Rising lava level in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater

The level of the lava lake within the Overlook crater, set within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, continues to rise. Today, the level was as high as 14 meters (46 feet) below the Overlook crater rim. This photograph was taken from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, in an area closed to the public due to volcanic hazards, but the lava level was high enough today that the lava lake surface could be seen from Jaggar Overlook, which is open to the public.

The lava lake in the Overlook Crater, within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, has been rising over the past few days. Today the lava was as high as 14 meters (46 feet) below the Overlook crater rim. Several areas of spattering were active along the lake margin.

April 23, 2015 — Kīlauea


Breakouts continue northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Breakouts on the June 27th lava flow remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. A new, small, breakout appeared recently from the tube adjacent to Puʻu Kahaualeʻa, the small forested cone near the center of the photograph. The new breakout is the light-colored curved flow in the left portion of the photograph. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the upper right portion of the photo.

Left: The farthest active breakout on the June 27th flow reached about 8 km (5 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The tip of this breakout was narrow and burning forest. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at the top of the photograph. Right: A small breakout from an inflated portion of the June 27th flow. Large gas bubbles reach the surface near the source of the breakout, and are then carried and deformed as the surface advances and cools.

Left: The June 27th flow covers much of the top of the photograph, and recent expansion of the flow margins has sent lava cascading into one of the ponds on the 2007 perched lava channel. This 2007 lava fills the bottom of the photograph, and is covered with yellow alteration. Right: Over the past week small flows have filled the bottom of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater. These flows originated from vents in the south portion of the crater, and one of the flows can be seen near the center of the photograph.

Lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater reaches new high level

The Overlook crater lava lake, within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at Kīlauea's summit, has been rising over the past few days, and today reached the highest point yet measured for the current summit eruption. The lava lake this afternoon was 20 meters (66 feet) below the Overlook crater rim.

Left: Another view of the lava lake, with several areas of spattering active. Right: The lava level was high enough at the lava lake this evening that bits of spatter were reaching the rim of the Overlook crater.

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.