HVO Photos & Video

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August 28, 2015 — Kīlauea


New lava flows at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Left: View of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, looking south. The floor of the crater was resurfaced yesterday (August 27) by lava flows erupting from a vent at the northeast edge of the crater (fuming area to the left). Right: View of Puʻu ʻŌʻō from the south side, looking north. The current crater in Puʻu ʻŌʻō is only about half the diameter of Puʻu ʻŌʻō's previous crater, which is defined by the rim of the tephra cone remnants in the foreground and background. That older crater's western edge extended to about the left edge of the photograph. The current crater is 25–30 m (~80–100 ft) deep.

Left: A tiny lava pond, about 10 m (33 ft) across, was visible within a vent near the south edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō's crater. Can you spot it? It's near the center of the photograph. Right: Yesterday's lava flows in Puʻu ʻŌʻō erupted from a vent at the northeast edge of the crater and added a new layer to the crater floor. This photograph looks northeast across the relatively smooth crater floor toward the vent that erupted, which is a spatter cone that appears as a faintly visible mound in the fume in the background.

Left: A piece of the new flow on the crater floor was collected for chemical analysis. Can you spot the USGS geologist collecting the sample? He is just below the center of the photograph. The small lava pond is just above center, partly hidden by a small spatter mound. Right: This photo is from within the crater, looking back at the USGS scientist who took the adjacent photo.

Left: USGS scientists make observations from the edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō's current crater. Puʻu ʻŌʻō's high point – the northwestern remnant of the original cone that formed in the 1980's – is in the background. This higher ground provides a good perch for some of HVO's webcams, near upper right. Right: A large breakout from the lava tube on the north side of Puʻu ʻŌʻō yesterday (August 27) formed a large channelized flow, but it did not last long. The activity died in the evening, the same day, and traveled only about 500 m (about 550 yards). The recent flow is the lighter colored lava mostly left of center in the photograph, with its most distant tip approaching lower right. The photograph looks south toward Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

August 4, 2015 — Kīlauea


High view of Puʻu ʻŌʻō; West pit in Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Left: High aerial view of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, looking south-southwest. The current crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō is about 280 m (~920 ft) long and 230 m (~755 ft) wide, with a depth of about 25 m (~82 ft). To the west of the crater is another pit 49 m (~161 ft) across that contains a small lava pond. Right: The pit west of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, shown here, is overhung on most sides and may continue to widen with time. The lava pond inside is relatively placid, appearing as a black surface, usually with a few tiny spattering areas along the edge.

View of the active flow field; Scientist collects lava sample

Left: Lava flows are scattered across a broad area extending from about 3 to 8 km (2–5 mi) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The active flows start just above the horizontal mid-line of the photo, but cannot be picked out easily within the broader inactive flow field due to their distance away in this photo. The most distant active lava is burning forest, and the bluish smoke from this can be seen in a few areas in the distance, partly shrouded by clouds. Right: An HVO scientist collects a molten lava sample using a rock hammer. Molten lava on the flow field for the last several months has had a temperature usually around 1,140 ēC, or just under 2,100 ēF, when collected and can blister exposed skin when this close.

July 27, 2015 — Kīlauea


Puʻu ʻŌʻō thermal camera viewing geometry

Views into Puʻu ʻŌʻō's current crater are often hampered by fume. To overcome this, HVO uses thermal cameras that detect heat and are better able to 'see' through the fume. This image mosaic compares the Puʻu ʻŌʻō thermal webcamera's view with an oblique aerial photograph to show what the thermal camera is looking at. The thermal webcamera is looking approximately toward the east and commonly shows several hot spots, which are outgassing vents. Three such hot vents were in view of the thermal camera on July 19, the date that the thermal camera captured the image on the left. The arrowed letters show how those vents match up between the thermal image and the aerial photograph. The thermal camera does not have a view of a pit which formed west of the current crater in late March and which contains a small lava pond.

July 23, 2015 — Kīlauea


Breakouts active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, no recent overall advancement

Breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, but on today's overflight we observed a decrease in overall activity. In particular, breakouts that had been active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō on previous days, around Puʻu Kahaualeʻa, were inactive today. The active breakouts began about 4 km (2.5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō and reached nearly 8 km (5 miles). This farthest distance has not changed significantly in recent weeks.

This photograph looks west along the East Rift Zone, towards Puʻu ʻŌʻō and Kīlauea's summit. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen near the horizon, on the left side of the image. The farthest active lava today was near the smokey area in the left side of the image. Kīlauea's summit plume can be seen in the distance in the upper right portion of the photograph.

Left: A closer look at the north margin of the June 27th lava flow, where breakouts are active at the forest boundary. Right: Breakouts have further buried Puʻu Kahaualeʻa in recent weeks. The cone was originally covered in thick vegetation, but today only a single dead tree stands on the remnants of the cone rim.

An HVO geologist collects a sample of lava, quenching it in a bucket of water. Chemical analysis of the lava provides insight into changes in the magma plumbing system.

Summit lava lake at Halemaʻumaʻu at relatively low level

Left: The summit lava lake today was at a relatively low level, about 65 meters (210 feet) below the Overlook crater rim, associated with summit deflation. Spattering was active along the lake margins. This photograph shows overflows from April and May (dark lava in bottom portion of photograph) covering the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. Right: Pele's hair covers the roadside along Crater Rim Drive, next to the Halemaʻumaʻu parking lot, in an area of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park closed to the public due to proximity to the summit lava lake. The Pele's hair (long strand of volcanic glass) is emitted from the lava lake and carried upwards by the rising gas plume, and then drifts downwind.

June 30, 2015 — Kīlauea


Scattered breakouts northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, but little forward progress

Active pāhoehoe lava is scattered over a broad area northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, but has not advanced significantly over the past month. Today, the farthest active lava was about 7.5 km (4.7 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with the leading tip of this breakout burning vegetation. Aerial view towards the southwest. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the upper left.

Left: A closer look at the upper June 27th flow field, where numerous breakouts were active. The active breakouts are visible as the light-colored areas near the bottom of the photo. In the lower right, the remains of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa can be seen. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the upper left. Right: A view of the southern portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, where two small incandescent vents have been active recently.

Left: A closer view of the one of the pāhoehoe breakouts near Puʻu Kahaualeʻa. The dark flakes on the surface are bits of crust from the underlying flow that get stuck to the front of the newer flow, and end up on the top surface as the nose of the new flow inflates. Right: A view of the breakouts active near Puʻu Kahaualeʻa.

June 19, 2015 — Kīlauea


Scattered breakouts northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, but little forward advancement

Scattered breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on the June 27th lava flow, but have not advanced significantly over the past month. This photo shows the farthest reach of active lava on the flow field today, which was about 8 km (5 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Minor brush fires were active where lava was entering forest.

Left: This photograph shows the south margin of the June 27th flow, northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, where many small scattered breakouts were active. The active, and recently active, breakouts are visible at the light gray areas. Right: Little has changed in Puʻu ʻŌʻō over the past month, and a small lava pond still exists within the circular pit in the western portion of the crater. This pit can be seen through the fume in this photo, and a tiny area of incandescence at the edge of the active pond is barely visible.

Scattered breakouts were active at the margins of the June 27th flow, with only minor expansion of the flow margins over the past two weeks. This photo shows an active breakout on the south margin of the June 27th flow, moving over older ʻaʻā from Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

June 9, 2015 — Kīlauea


Summit lava lake well below Overlook crater rim

One month ago the summit lava lake was at the rim of the Overlook crater (the small crater in the center of the photo), spilling lava onto the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater (the larger crater that fills much of the photo), creating the dark flows surrounding the Overlook crater. Since that time the lava lake has dropped, associated with summit deflation, and today the lake level was about 60 meters (200 feet) below the Overlook crater rim. The stack of recent overflows is visible on the wall of the Overlook crater as the layer of dark lava atop the older, light colored lava forming the majority of the Overlook crater wall.

The photo is taken from the southeast rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The closed Halemaʻumaʻu overlook is in the upper left corner of the photo. Jaggar Museum and HVO can be seen as a small bump on the horizon in the upper right portion of the photograph.

June 4, 2015 — Kīlauea


Scattered breakouts northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Scattered breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. On today's overflight, breakouts were active as far as 8 km (5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Some of this activity was at the forest boundary, burning vegetation. This narrow lobe, one of several active on the flow field today, traveled over earlier Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava (light brown) to reach the forest boundary.

Activity at Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains relatively steady. This photograph looks towards the southwest, and shows outgassing from numerous areas in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. On the far side of the crater, the small circular pit (right of center) had a small lava pond that was too deep to see from this angle.

Left: As shown in the May 21 field photos, the small forested cone of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa has been slowly buried by flows over the past several months. All that remains today are narrow portions of the rim standing above the lava. Right: Recent lava on the June 27th flow cascaded over the overhanging rim of this collapse pit on an earlier portion of the flow field.

Summit activity continues in Halemaʻumaʻu

Left: A wide view of the northern portion of Kīlauea Caldera, on an exceptionally clear day. HVO and Jaggar Museum can be seen as the light-colored spot on the caldera rim. Mauna Loa is in the distance. Right: Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, looking west. The dark area on the crater floor consists of recent overflows from the Overlook crater. The Overlook crater is near the left edge of the photo, and a portion of the active lava lake surface can be seen below the rim.

May 21, 2015 — Kīlauea


Puʻu Kahaualeʻa nearly gone; lava flow intersects old tube

Puʻu Kahaualeʻa has been buried slowly by the Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption over the years, and the ongoing June 27th flow has nearly finished the job. The image on the left shows Puʻu Kahaualeʻa on June 30, 2014, a few days after the June 27th flow started (the ʻaʻā flow just behind the cone is from the early stages of that flow); the image on the right shows Puʻu Kahaualeʻa today (May 21, 2015) from nearly the same perspective. Only the highest parts of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa's twin craters remain.

The most distant active tip of the June 27th flow, visible at the left edge of the photo, was about 8.5 km (~5.3 miles) from Puʻu ʻŌʻō today. This lobe of the flow intersected an old lava tube earlier in the week that transported lava a short distance downslope, where it emerged from skylights to make several small isolated pads of lava (center of the photo). The view is to the southwest, so Puʻu ʻŌʻō is well off in the distance beyond the top of the photo.

May 15, 2015 — Kīlauea


Kīlauea summit vent lava lake continues to drop

Kīlauea Volcano's summit lava lake continued to drop today (May 15, 2015). Measurements of the lake surface late this afternoon showed that it was 62 m (203 ft) below the top of the newly-created vent rim, a ridge (or levee) of solidified lava about 8 m (26 ft) thick that accumulated on top of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor from multiple overflows of the vent during the past two weeks.

HVO webcams captured a short-lived dusty-brown plume generated by a small rock fall from the summit vent wall at 3:24 p.m., HST, this afternoon (May 15, 2015).