HVO Photos & Video

Photo & Video Chronology

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July 27, 2016 — Kīlauea

Ocean entry continues

Lava from the 61g flow continues into the ocean along Kīlauea's south coast. Today's field crew also noted active pāhoehoe breakouts a few hundred meters (yards) upslope from the coast and road.

Meanwhile, back at the summit of Kīlauea...

Perched on the rim of Kīlauea Volcano's summit caldera, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and NPS Jaggar Museum (foreground) overlook the active lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The black lava flows to the left and right of the fuming vent spilled onto the crater floor in April-May 2015, when the lava lake briefly filled to overflowing.

The summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continuously circulates, with lava upwelling on one side of the lake and downwelling on the opposite side, often resulting in vigorous spattering (bright spot on left side of lake). As it circulates, sections of the dark-colored, semi-solid lake surface pull apart, revealing the incandescent molten lava beneath and creating the appearance of a jigsaw puzzle. This evening, the lava lake surface was about 26 m (85 ft) below the vent rim. The silhouette of Mauna Loa is visible in upper right.

July 26, 2016 — Kīlauea

Lava flow reaches the ocean

Just over two months since the start of the 61g flow, it reached the ocean on July 26 at 1:15 am HST. The narrow ocean entry was creating a small plume of gas and steam during today's overflight as the lava came into contact with the ocean.

A close-up view of the ocean entry with multiple small fingers of lava spilling over the cliff.

Video of the ocean entry, showing lava spilling over the sea cliff.

Nighttime observations of lava reaching the ocean

Left: HVO geologists in the field overnight observed lava crossing the stretch of land between the "emergency" gravel road and the sea cliff. This photograph shows the flow front a short time before lava reached the ocean. Right: This photograph looks towards the ocean, from a spot along the west margin of the flow, showing the ocean entry plume just minutes after lava first reached the water.

July 25, 2016 — Kīlauea

Lava flow crosses the emergency access road

Flow 61G reached the emergency access road inside Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on July 25 at 3:20 pm and crossed the road in about 30 minutes. At 4:00 pm, the flow front was approximately 110 m (0.07 miles) from the ocean.

Left: View of the slabby pāhoehoe flow front as it crosses to the ocean side of the emergency access road inside Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Right: The active lava flow on Kīlauea Volcano's south flank providing wonderful lava-viewing experiences for Park visitors. A section of the road can be seen here, with fume from the active lava tube in the far distance behind it, and the active flow front in the foreground. The flow front was less than 100 meters (yards) from the ocean when this photo was taken.

July 22, 2016 — Kīlauea

Sluggish pāhoehoe breakouts advance slowly on coastal plain

The flow front remains active and consists of slowly advancing pāhoehoe. There are scattered breakouts along the margins of the flow on the coastal plain and base of the pali. During the overflight today, the flow front was 730 m (0.45 miles) from the ocean.

A faint double rainbow provided a beautiful backdrop for sluggish pāhoehoe lava oozing out from near the flow front this morning.

During early morning field observations, a large breakout of lava near the base of Pūlama Pali (steep fault scarp in background) was visible through fumes from the lava tube and heat shimmer from lava on the coastal plain. The approximate location of the lava tube feeding Kīlauea's active lava flow is visible as degassing sources (white fume) on the pali.

Left: A breakout at the base of the pali viewed by a field crew this morning has formed a channelized ʻaʻā flow on the steeper portion of the coastal plain. Right: A close up view of the ʻaʻā channel.

July 20, 2016 — Kīlauea

Lava flow on coastal plain still active

Left: Kīlauea Volcano's lava flow remains active, with pāhoehoe lobes, like the one shown here, slowly advancing on the coastal plain. Breakouts upslope of the leading edge continue to widen the flow margins. Today, the active flow front was approximately 850 m (0.5 miles) from the ocean, and 720 m (0.4 miles) from the road. Right: The HVO field crew mapped new breakouts on the lava flow by recording GPS points along the active flow margin.

Vigorous spattering on Kīlauea summit lava lake

Left: A long, hot hike was not needed to see red lava today. Vigorous spattering from Kīlauea Volcano's summit lava lake was visible from the Jaggar Museum Overlook in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park as of this afternoon. The lava lake surface, measured at 25 m (82 ft) below the vent rim this morning, was high enough for the spattering to be seen from afar. Right: A zoomed-in view of the lava lake spattering.

July 19, 2016 — Kīlauea

Flow front remains active on coastal plain, but little forward movement

The flow remains active on the pali and coastal plain, with scattered breakouts of pāhoehoe lava. Over the past week, however, the leading tip of the flow has advanced only a short distance. Today, the flow front was 850 m (0.5 miles) from the ocean. In this photograph, the current lava flow is the lighter color area in the center of the photo.

Left: Only a few short sections of road in Royal Gardens subdivision remain uncovered by lava. In this kipuka, about 200 m (220 yards) of Orchid Street is still exposed. Right: This photograph looks downslope at the uppermost section of the Episode 61g flow. The vent is in the lower left corner of the photo. Several collapses have occurred over the lava tube, and the trace of the tube can be seen by the fuming sources extending downslope.

The large hole on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains open, providing a view of forked lava streams. Since the last overflight on Friday, July 15, the lava streams have started to crust over, reducing the glow in the pit.

July 15, 2016 — Kīlauea

Flow front slowly advancing

The flow front remains active on the coastal plain, but has only moved about 60 m (~200 ft) closer to the ocean in the past three days. As of midday on July 15, the slow-moving pahoehoe is roughly 870 m (~0.5 mi) from the ocean. Activity upslope continues to widen the flow margins. The light gray surface in this image is the new pahoehoe of the 61G flow.

Aerial view of the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Coastal Ranger Station at the end of Chain of Craters Road with the active lava flow (61G) in the distance. Correlative thermal image highlighting the hot, active flow at the top portion of the photo (right).

July 12, 2016 — Kīlauea

Flow front activity persists, but advance still slow

Surface breakouts remained active on the pali and coastal plain, but the leading tip of the flow has advanced little since mapping on Sunday. This morning, the flow front was about 940 m (0.6 miles) from the ocean. Activity upslope of the flow front was widening the flow margins. In this photo, the active flow is the lighter colored area.

Above the pali there are no surface breakouts, and lava is carried downslope within the subsurface lava tube system. The trace of the lava tubes is evident by the line of fuming point sources along the flow. Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and the vent for the current flow, are in the upper left portion of the photo.

July 10, 2016 — Kīlauea

Flow front advance on coastal plain slows further

The leading tip of the flow has moved only 40 m (130 feet) since yesterday's mapping and the lava activity at the tip was still very weak. The leading lava lobe had a dull surface and rough texture suggesting that it may have cooled somewhat within the flow interior.

About 200 meters (yards) upslope of the leading tip of the flow, more typical pāhoehoe was present - with a shiny, smooth surface.

July 9, 2016 — Kīlauea

Flow front continues slow advance on coastal plain

The flow front activity was relatively weak today, but still active and advancing. The flow front at midday was about 1 km from the ocean (0.6 miles), having moved about 130 m (140 yards) since yesterday's mapping.

Left: An HVO geologist maps the flow margin using a handheld GPS unit. Right: One of the many breakouts upslope of the flow front.