HVO Photos & Video

Photo & Video Chronology

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September 28, 2015 — Kīlauea

Scattered breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

The June 27th lava flow remains active with scattered breakouts northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The farthest active breakout today was about 6.5 km (4 miles) from Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This photograph shows activity along the northern flow boundary, where breakouts continue to burn vegetation.

Left: This view looks west towards Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which can be seen in the upper left. The most distant active breakouts today were located near the center of the photograph, at a spot roughly 6.5 km (4 miles) from Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Right: HVO geologists hike through thick fume and fog to reach the lava pond in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater.

A lava pond has been active in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater for several months.

This Quicktime video shows lava sample collection from the perspective of an HVO geologist.

No major changes in the lava lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater

Left: This wide view shows the lava lake active within the Overlook crater, which is set within the larger Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. There have been no major changes in the lake in recent weeks. This morning the lava lake was roughly 60 meters (200 feet) below the rim of the Overlook crater. The dark region surrounding the Overlook crater is lava that spilled out onto the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater in April and May of this year, when the lake level was much higher. Right: A closer look at the lava lake in the Overlook crater.

September 19, 2015 — Mauna Loa

Routine check of summit cameras

This panorama is from the north rim of Mauna Loa's summit caldera, Mokuʻāweoweo, and shows the thermal camera watching for changes on the caldera floor.

An HVO geologist performs a routine check of the thermal camera and webcam at the summit of Mauna Loa.

September 17, 2015 — Mauna Loa

Mauna Loa - Earthquake and Deformation Data 2010-2015

TOP: Mauna Loa weekly earthquake rates between 2010 and September 17, 2015. Blue bars indicate the number of earthquakes that were located by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory seismic network. Earthquakes of all magnitudes are plotted. Subtle increases in earthquake rates started in mid-2013, while more obvious changes in rates started in 2014.
BOTTOM: Change in distance across Mauna Loa's summit caldera between 2010 and September 17, 2015. Blue dots indicate the relative distance between two stations that span the summit caldera of Mauna Loa, shown in the map on the upper left. Sustained extension across the caldera started in mid-2014. This extension is one of the indicators of magma infilling a complex reservoir system beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone.

September 11, 2015 — Kīlauea

There has been no significant change on the flow field northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and some of the active flows continue to creep into the forest along the north edge of the flow field, as seen here, looking roughly northwest. Activity has been remarkably stable and consistent, with no overall advancement of the flows, for the last several weeks.

Left: View of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, looking northwest. The floor of the crater was paved in late August by lava that erupted from a vent at the northeast edge of the crater, which is the heavily fuming area to the right. There are also vents at the southeast edge of the crater (note the incandescent vent just left of center) and at the northwest edge (hidden by fume just above center). A western pit, outside the left edge of the crater (hard to see in this photo), hosts a small sluggish lava pond. The vent supplying the June 27th lava flow is on the flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō beyond the right edge of the photo. Right: Photo of Puʻu ʻŌʻō west of the crater, looking north-northwest. The west edge of the crater is to the right. The western pit, with the lava pond, is just above and left of center. Notice the vaguely arcuate line of fume that wraps from the south edge of the crater, around the western pit, and back to the northwest edge of the crater in the background. This fuming arc corresponds closely to the rim of the crater that was present in 2011. The surface of the crescent-shaped area bounded by this arc is sulfur stained and, when on the ground there, is found to be very hot, suggesting that there may be pockets of magma below the ground there. In time, other pits may form in this area, or the western pit may continue to widen, and eventually the entire crescent-shaped area could collapse and become part of the crater again.

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 28, 2015 — Mauna Loa

Gas monitoring atop Mauna Loa

As magma rises toward Earth's surface, gases dissolved in the molten rock bubble out and escape through surface vents called fumaroles. HVO established sensors atop Mauna Loa in late 2005 to continuously monitor the concentration of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide gases and fumarole temperature within Mokuʻāweoweo, the summit caldera. These sensors have recorded data for nearly 10 years, with some ups and downs in temperatures, but no measured change in the gases. On August 28, HVO gas geochemists went to the monitoring site to replace and recalibrate the gas sensors.

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.