HVO Photos & Video

Photo & Video Chronology

Latest Entries | Search (2011 and newer) | Archive (2010 and older)

Note: Check the Photo Glossary or a good dictionary for any terms unfamiliar to you. Looking for media you could swear you saw here but can't find now? Check the Archive.

September 15, 2014 — Kīlauea


June 27th flow enters northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads

The June 27th lava flow remains active and continues advancing towards the northeast. Recently, the flow front entered the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, and is currently within the vacant, forested northwest portion of the subdivision. The flow front was 3.3 km (2.1 miles) upslope from Apaʻa Road and 4.3 km (2.7 miles) from Pāhoa Village Road.

Left: Another view of the flow front, in the northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision. Right: A closer view of surface activity on the June 27th lava flow. This pāhoehoe flow consists of many small, scattered, slow-moving lobes burning vegetation.

Left: HVO geologists conduct a VLF (very-low frequency) survey to measure the rate of lava flowing through the lava tube on the June 27th lava flow. Right: An HVO geologist conducts a very-low frequency (VLF) survey of the lava tube to measure the rate of lava flowing through the tube. The measurement consists of two steps. First, a transect of VLF measurements across the roof of the tube is used to measure the cross-sectional area of lava flowing through the tube. Second, a radar gun is used to measure the speed that lava is flowing at that location. An open skylight is required for this speed measurement. By multiplying the cross-sectional area with the velocity, the volume rate of lava flowing through the tube can be estimated. Today's measurement showed a flow rate of 5.8 cubic meters per second (roughly 1500 gallons per second). Tracking the lava supply rate like this can be helpful for anticipating fluctuations in activity at the flow front.

This Quicktime movie provides an aerial view of activity near the front of the June 27th flow, where numerous pāhoehoe lobes are slowly burning vegetation.

This Quicktime movie shows the view through a skylight on the lava tube, which provided a clear view of the flowing lava stream.

September 12, 2014 — Kīlauea


June 27 flow moving to the northeast

As of Friday afternoon, September 12, 2014, the most distal front of the June 27th lava flow had reached a straight-line distance of 14.9 km (9.3 miles) from the source vent on the northeast flank of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone. The flow has continued in the northeast direction that it assumed in the middle of the week and is now only 171 meters (0.1 miles) from the boundary of the Kaohe Homesteads community. The flow is still within thick forest, so that dense plumes of smoke are created as vegetation is consumed. Small breakouts (visible as plumes in the middle distance) are also active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow.

Left: View looking northeast along the terminus of the July 27th flow. Kaohe Homesteads is to the right, and Pāhoa town is in the middle center. The active flow is in the middle left. Right: View from above the middle part of the June 27th flow looking south at a small breakout that is burning forest along the previously existing flow margin. Heiheiahulu cone is in the upper left.

This Quicktime movie provides an aerial view of the flow front and its position relative to Kaohe Homesteads.

The photo on the left is compared here to a thermal image on the right, which provides a clear view of the flow front of the June 27th flow through the thick smoke. The vent for the June 27th flow is on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which can be seen at the top of the normal photograph. After pouring in and out of ground cracks in late August, the flow finally emerged from the cracks around September 3 and began spilling out towards the north. The northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision can be seen in the lower left of the images.

September 10, 2014 — Kīlauea


June 27th flow moves closer to Kaohe Homesteads

The June 27th lava flow remained active Wednesday afternoon, September 10, 2014, with the most distal flow front 14.5 km (9.0 mi; straight-line distance) from the vent on the northeast flank of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, which is visible in the far background. Over the past day, the flow front direction shifted from a north trend to a more northeast trend, bringing the flow closer to the Forest Reserve boundary. The flow continued to advance through thick forest, creating smoke plumes as it engulfed trees and other vegetation. The smell of smoke has been detected far downwind of the flow, but fires are not spreading beyond the margin of the flow. Small, sluggish breakouts of lava (smoke plumes in far distance) also remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow.

Left: View from above the end of the June 27th lava flow, looking along its northeast trend through the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. On the afternoon of September 10, 2014, the flow front was 0.6 km (0.4 mi) from the boundary between the Forest Reserve and Kaohe Homesteads, visible at far right. Right: Smoke plumes indicate the location of the June 27th lava flow, which was 0.6 km (0.4 mi) from the edge of Kaohe Homesteads, visible in foreground, on September 10. The flow was advancing toward the northeast.

This Quicktime movie provides an overview of activity near the front of the June 27th lava flow, and shows the position of the flow front relative to Kaohe Homesteads and Pahoa.

September 8, 2014 — Kīlauea


June 27th flow continues to advance north

Left: The June 27th flow continues its advance toward the north, creating a dense smoke plume as it spreads through the forest. The tip of the active flow today was 13.7 km (8.5 miles) straight-line distance from the vent, and 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. This boundary is the western edge of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, seen in the foreground. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible on the horizon, partly obscured by the smoke plume. The actual length of the flow, measured along its axis, is 15.7 km (9.8 miles). Right: This view shows the active flow front from behind. The lava feeding the flow emerges from a crack parallel to the road at lower right, which goes to the True/Mid-Pacific geothermal well site. Kaohe Homesteads is to the right, Pāhoa is at the upper right, and Ainaloa and Hawaiian Paradise Park are at upper left.

This Quicktime video provides an aerial view of the activity at the front of the June 27th lava flow.

Breakouts remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Several small breakouts persist along the middle part of the June 27th flow, closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Most of these breakouts are burning trees as well, as seen in this photo. The flow front is in the distance, at upper left, and the closer smoke plumes are from these other breakouts.

September 6, 2014 — Kīlauea


June 27th flow remains active, with flow front moving north from ground crack

Following a reduction in surface activity yesterday, we observed an increase in surface flows today issuing from the ground crack. The reduction yesterday was likely due to lava filling the deep ground cracks. The flow front today was moving towards the north from the ground crack, through thick forest, creating a dense plume of smoke. The farthest active flows today were 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 1.4 km (0.9 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve. This boundary is the western edge of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, seen at the bottom of this photograph. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible on the horizon in the upper right portion of the photograph.

Another view of the flow front, looking west. Lava issued from several spots along a deep ground crack earlier this week, as shown by the distinct fingers of lava making up the flow front. The thick smoke plumes show the flow front this morning was moving downslope towards the north (right in image), but it is too soon to know if this northerly flow direction will be sustained. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the upper left portion of the photograph.

This Quicktime movie gives a quick aerial overview of activity at the flow front.

This thermal image looks west at the June 27th flow front. The active tip of the flow is at the right side of the image, moving north. Lava issued from several spots along a deep ground crack, which has been traced with the dotted line in the left portion of the image. In addition, lava was filling another crack, also marked, closer to the active tip of the flow.

Left: Lava was filling another ground crack near the flow front, as indicated by a line of steam that extended a short distance west of the flow tip. At two spots along this ground crack we observed small pads of lava near the surface. Right: A wide view of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, looking northwest. Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater, on Kīlauea's East Rift Zone, is the large fuming crater just to the left of the image center. Just to the right of the center point, on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, smaller fume sources trace the lava tube supplying lava to the June 27th lava flow (the front of this flow is out of view to the right). In the distance, a faint plume of volcanic gas from the summit of Kīlauea can be seen below the clouds. The broad slopes of Mauna Loa form the skyline.

Breakouts remain scattered along the June 27th lava flow, and are not just limited to the flow front. Here surface flows have recently cut a swath through thick forest.

September 3, 2014 — Kīlauea


June 27th lava flow front emerges again from ground crack, continues advancing eastward

The June 27th lava flow remains active, with lava at the flow front issuing from a ground crack and advancing through thick forest, creating dense plumes of smoke. The farthest lava this afternoon was 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve. This forest reserve boundary is at the western boundary of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, a portion of which is visible at the bottom of the photograph.

Left: This view looks east at the far end of the June 27th lava flow. In the center of the photograph is an isolated pad of lava which came out of ground crack last week. Further movement of lava within ground cracks has enabled the flow front to advance farther east, with lava issuing from a ground crack in the upper left portion of the photograph, where plumes of smoke mark the location of lava burning forest. Right: A closer view of the flow front, looking west. It is difficult to see the active lava surface through the thick smoke. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen in the upper left portion of the photograph, partly obscured by smoke.

One small portion of the flow front was quite vigorous, with an open stream of lava moving through the forest.

This Quicktime movie shows activity at the front of the June 27th lava flow. The flow front continues to advance eastward, with lava issuing out of a ground crack and spreading through dense forest, creating thick plumes of smoke. The farthest lava this afternoon was 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve.

The surface flows at the front of the June 27th lava flow are fed by lava that is supplied through a lava tube that originates at the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This thermal image shows the lava tube close to Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Although the lava is several meters (yards) beneath the surface, it heats the surface sufficiently to be easily detected with thermal cameras.

September 1, 2014 — Kīlauea


June 27th lava flow continues advancing eastward, with lava plunging into another ground crack

This wide view, looking west, shows the position of the June 27th flow front relative to the nearby Kaohe Homesteads subdivision. The front of the flow is moving through thick forest, and its position can be seen by the plumes of smoke above the center of the photograph. Near these active surface flows, there was also steaming from a ground crack, resulting from lava deep in the crack. The farthest point of this steaming was 1.7 km (1.1 miles) west of the boundary of the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision.

The June 27th lava flow remains active at its leading edge, where lava is spreading out slowly into thick forest and also plunging into one of the many deep ground cracks that form Kīlauea's East Rift Zone. This Quicktime video shows the activity near the eastern edge of the flow. This swiftly moving stream of lava was about 2 meters (yards) wide, and was visible down to about 30 meters (100 feet) depth in the crack, where it disappeared from view.

The Quicktime video begins with a view of the steaming ground crack, where lava is moving deep within the crack. As the view rotates west, lava can be seen on the surface burning thick forest. Finally, the camera focuses on the eastern edge of the flow, where lava is plunging into the deep ground crack. This swiftly moving stream of lava was about 2 meters (yards) wide, and was visible down to about 30 meters (100 feet) depth in the crack, where it disappeared from view.

Left: Surface flows at the front of the June 27th flow continue slowly moving through thick forest, creating scattered brush fires. This view looks south, and the cone of Heiheiahulu is in the upper left. Right: Extending slightly beyond the lava flows on the surface, a steaming ground crack indicates that lava is continuing to move beneath the surface. The front of the surface flows is just above and to the right of the center point of the photograph, and the steaming ground crack runs along the vertical center line of the photograph. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen on the horizon in the upper left.

Left: Near the leading edge of the lava on the surface, there was a swiftly moving stream of lava pouring into a deep ground crack (see Quicktime videos above). Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at the top of the photograph. Right: A closer look at the stream of lava pouring into the deep ground crack. See Quicktime videos above.

August 29, 2014 — Kīlauea


Far end of June 27th lava flow reactivates, lava spills out of steaming crack

The steaming ground crack observed yesterday suggested that lava was close to the surface within the crack, and today lava in the crack reached the surface and began spilling out into the thick forest. The leading edge of the lava today was near the abandoned well site (cleared area at left). This farthest lava was about 11.9 km (7.4 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō (visible on horizon) and 2.6 km (1.6 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve.

A closer view of the pad of lava that emerged from the ground crack earlier this week, which had renewed surface flows today. At the east end (upper left in photograph) of the lava pad new breakouts spilled into adjacent ground cracks, and lava was visible within the ground crack extending farther to the east (visible by line of smoke extending towards upper left portion of photo). Heiheiahulu is visible in the upper right.

Left: A wide view of the leading edge of the June 27th lava flow, looking east down Kīlauea's East Rift Zone. The main body of the June 27th flow ends near the center of the photograph, where lava poured into a deep ground crack. After traveling along the ground crack, lava emerged at the surface earlier this week, creating an isolated pad of lava (where the thick smoke is just above the center of the photograph). This pad of lava had renewed surface activity today, with lava filling and spilling out of a ground crack extending farther to the east of the lava pad. Right: Another wide view of the leading edge of the June 27th lava flow, again looking east. This shows the east end of the isolated lava pad. The thick smoke originates from lava filling a deep ground crack up to the surface. The smoke partly obscures the abandoned well site.

At the site of the isolated pad of lava near the leading edge of the June 27th flow, renewed surface flows today resurfaced the existing lava flow and also spilled into nearby ground cracks. In this photograph, two large streams of lava plunge into a crack that is a couple meters (yards) wide.

At the far end of the lava-filled crack, lava spilled out towards the north a very short distance. In this view from a thermal camera, the small lobe of lava moving north is easily visible. The trees surrounding the crack show brighter colors as they are heated by the lava flow, but not to the point of combustion.

The vent for the June 27th lava flow is on the upper northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The vent area is now covered by lava, but the lava tube that carries lava to the flow front is easily visible by the line of blue-colored fume. In the lower right, two skylights can be seen.

August 28, 2014 — Kīlauea


Steaming extends northeast along ground crack, suggesting lava is advancing again along the crack

Steaming (center of photograph) was reported this morning east of the small pad of lava (just above center) that emerged from a ground crack this past week. This renewed progression of steaming suggests that lava is again continuing to advance beneath the surface, along these ground cracks. On our afternoon overflight, the farthest point of steaming was near an abandoned well site, which serves as a convenient landmark in this broad expanse of forest. The farthest steaming was 11.9 km (7.4 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 2.6 km (1.6 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve. In the top portion of the photograph, numerous plumes of smoke originate from scattered surface flows burning vegetation. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen on the horizon.

This figure compares the photo above with an equivalent view from a thermal camera. The plumes of smoke mark the farthest active lava on the surface (small, scattered lobes of pāhoehoe), which are also shown as small hotspots in the thermal image. The pad of lava that emerged from the ground crack earlier this week was inactive at the surface but still quite warm (high temperature patch in center of image). East of this pad of lava, steaming (just below the center of the photograph) has appeared over the past day, suggesting that lava is continuing to advance below the surface along a ground crack. Direct views into the crack were not possible due to thick vegetation, but close views of the steaming areas with the thermal camera reveal temperatures up to 190 C (370 F). These high temperature are further evidence of lava moving through the crack.

A closer of the new steaming. The thick vegetation obscures direct views of the ground crack, and only a line of steaming and browned vegetation is evident at the surface.

Slow-moving pāhoehoe advances through thick forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The pāhoehoe lobes surround, and burn through, the base of the trees. By the time the trees topple over, the lava surface temperature has cooled sufficiently that the downed trees do not completely burn through, leaving a field of tree trunks on the recent lava surface. One tree in the center of the photograph is completely surrounded by active lava, and likely on the brink of toppling over.

Left: Another view of the lava expanding into the forest. Right: Closer to the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, one of several skylights provides a view of the flowing lava stream within the lava tube. This lava tube supplies lava from the vent to the active surface flows near the flow front.

August 27, 2014 — Kīlauea


Activity at flow front appears to stall but surface flows remain active behind flow front

The June 27th flow remains active, but surface flows at the very farthest reaches of the flow appear to have stalled today. The lava flow front consisted of an isolated pad of lava that emerged from a deep ground crack several days ago. Today, this pad of lava appeared inactive at the surface, with no sign obvious activity in the adjacent crack. On today's overflight, the farthest active surface flows were on the main body of the June 27th flow, and were 8.5 km (5.3 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, or about 6 km (3.7 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve.

A closer view of the southern lobe of the June 27th lava flow. Smoke plumes originate from active surface breakouts, the farthest today reached 8.5 km (5.3 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The spot at which this lobe plunged into a deep ground crack last week can be seen near the bottom of the photograph. In the upper right portion of the photograph, smoke originating from active breakouts on the northern lobe can be seen.

A comparison of the normal photograph (see above) of the south lobe of the June 27th flow with an equivalent view from the thermal camera. The thermal camera clearly shows the extent of the farthest active breakout, which was relatively small.

Left: Another view of the south lobe of the June 27th flow, which plunged into a deep ground crack last week (this spot is visible at the right side of the photograph). This wide view, looking west, also shows another deep crack nearby, a short distance to the south of the active flows (which are producing the smoke plumes). This immediate area contains many ground cracks, which are part of Kīlauea's East Rift Zone. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen in the distance. Right: The isolated pad of lava that emerged from the deep ground crack several days ago did not have any active breakouts at the surface today, but incandescent lava could be seen in numerous cracks on the surface. This likely represents lava that had ponded within the flow and remains hot, but immobile.