HVO Photos & Video

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June 23, 2016 — Kīlauea


Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flow continues advancing downslope

The episode 61g flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō continues advancing downslope. In this photo, the current flow is the lighter color area along the center of the image. The flow front has advanced about 770 m (0.5 miles) since the June 16 overflight, which equates to an advance rate of about 100 m per day (330 ft per day). The flow front was roughly 100 m (330 ft) from the northern boundary of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and its plume, are visible near the top of the image.

Left: The lava pond in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater remains active, and has enlarged since our last observation. The pond today was about 50 m (160 ft) in diameter, with spattering along the western margin. Right: An HVO geologist collects a fresh lava sample for chemical analysis. The lobe being sampled was typical of the many scattered pāhoehoe breakouts along the flow margin today.

HVO geologists conduct a VLF (very low frequency) survey across the episode 61g lava tube to measure the depth and cross-sectional area of lava flowing within the tube.

Left: Incandescent vents are still open on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. From the ground, no views of the lava were possible because the area around the vent was too unstable and dangerous to approach. Right: An aerial view of the same vent shown at left provided a look of the lava stream within the deep cavity.

June 16, 2016 — Kīlauea


Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flow still moving downslope

Left: The active surface flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō is still advancing slowly downslope and was 4.4 km (2.7 miles) long when mapped today. Averaged over the past six days, the flow has been advancing at a rate of about 200 m (220 yards) per day. At that rate, it will take about 10 days to reach the top of Pūlama pali, which is in the middle distance about 2 km (1.2 miles) farther downslope. The coastal plain and ocean are in the far distance. The active flow is creeping across some of the last-exposed ʻAʻā flows erupted from Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the 1980's. Right: This view is of the front of the active lava flow, looking upslope. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is partly obscured in the clouds at upper left. Most surface activity on the advancing flow is actually where the flow widens, upslope of the flow front.

Left: The uppermost part of the nascent lava tube has several skylights, which reveal the lava stream within the flow, like capillaries beneath the skin. This is the uppermost skylight, just downstream from where the lava broke out from the east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on May 24. Right: The lava stream was flowing toward the photographer in this photo. Higher lava levels are preserved in the shelf-like protrusions on the darker orange wall to the left.

Vents on Puʻu ʻŌʻō's northeast flank

Left: Several vents have opened on Puʻu ʻŌʻō's northeast flank since last December. A spatter cone grew over one of the vents in mid-May and is visible at the center of the photo emitting bluish fume. In recent weeks, a vent opened upslope from (to the left of) the spatter cone, revealing bright incandescence. The northeast edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō's crater, filled with white fume, is to the left of this vent. Right: Though difficult to photograph, aerial views showed that this open vent was but a small window into a large, hot cavity beneath Puʻu ʻŌʻō's northeast flank. Inside, streams of lava from an unseen source (or sources) closer to the crater rim (visible at lower right) were cascading toward the upper left into unknown depths. This view, looking almost straight down, shows the surface of one of these lava streams through the open vent. The ground around this entire area is sunken, corroded, and unstable, and may someday collapse to form a pit.

June 10, 2016 — Kīlauea


Lava flow southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Left: The only active surface lava on Kīlauea's East Rift Zone is the flow that erupted from the lower east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on May 24, 2014. This flow continues to advance southeast, and was 3.3 km (2.1 mi) long today (June 10). This photo shows the front of the flow; Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the background. Right: A closer view of the flow front, with Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the background.

June 2, 2016 — Kīlauea


Views of Puʻu ʻŌʻō and its recent breakouts

Left: View of breakout on northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The light-colored flows in the foreground are active pāhoehoe flows. The view is to the southeast. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at upper right. Right: View of recent breakout on east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The flow has advanced about 1.3 km (0.8 miles), but activity today was focused in the middle part of the flow, closer to its vent. The view is to the west.

Left: This photo, looking southwest, shows Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the background, with the northern breakout from May 24 extending to the right, with fume coming from a newly forming tube. The feature in the center foreground is a perched lava pond that formed in July 2014, but was refilled by new lava from the northern breakout in recent days. The breakout point of the eastern breakout is hard to pick out, if you don't know what to look for. It's the lighter colored lava at the left edge of the photo immediately below center. Right: Puʻu ʻŌʻō's current crater subsided by about 10 m (33 ft) in the days following the May 24 breakouts. This view, looking southeast, shows the crater as it was today. HVO webcams are perched on the edge of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone (an older crater rim) in the foreground.

Left: Middle: A close-up view of the spatter cone. Right: The ground around the spatter cone was covered in small gobs of spatter and Pele's hair, as shown here.

Left: Middle: A closer view of the skylight on the east breakout. The skylight is about 6 m (20 ft) across, and the lava stream is traveling toward the upper right side of the photo. Right: An even closer view of the skylight (about 6 m or 20 ft across). Again, the lava stream is flowing to the upper right.

Video showing a small channelized flow, as well as the skylight described above, on the breakout on the east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

May 27, 2016 — Kīlauea


Two Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows continue; activity focused near vent

The two new flows that broke out on the flanks of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone on Kīlauea Volcano's East Rift Zone on May 24 remained active early this morning. The flows were spreading laterally near the vent, but making little forward progress; as a result, they were not posing a threat to any community. The silvery sheen of new lava erupting from the northern breakout (center) and eastern breakout (far left) stands out in contrast to the older flows on and around Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

May 26, 2016 — Kīlauea


Summit lake level has dropped slightly; typical spattering activity

The summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater was at a high level earlier in the week, and partly visible from the Jaggar Museum Overlook at times. But over the past few days, the lake level has dropped slightly. Nevertheless, the activity on the surface of the lava lake has been typical of normal activity, with frequent spattering on the lake margins, as shown here. This view looks north from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, which is closed to the public due to ongoing volcanic hazards.

Left: A wider view of the lava lake within the Overlook crater, from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater (closed to the public due to hazardous conditions). Two spattering areas were active, one along the north margin and another in the southeast corner of the lake. Right: A closer look at the northern spatter source, which spanned roughly 30 meters (100 feet) of the lake margin.

Video of spattering along the north margin of Kīlauea Volcano's summit lava lake.

May 25, 2016 — Kīlauea


Puʻu ʻŌʻō breakouts continue, but no significant advancement

The two breakouts that began at Puʻu ʻŌʻō yesterday (May 24) are still active. This morning, the active portions of both flows remained relatively short, extending no more than 1 km (0.6 miles) from their breakout points. The northern breakout, shown here, changed course slightly overnight, but is still directed towards the northwest in an impressive channel, with lava spreading out at the flow front. This video was taken at 8:30 a.m., HST, today (May 25).

Left: As of 8:30 a.m., HST, today, May 25, 2016, lava continued to flow from two breakout sites on the flanks of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, which was shrouded by rain and steam during HVO's morning overflight. At the northern breakout (see maps at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/maps/), a new lobe of lava broke out of yesterday's active channel and was advancing to the northwest. This new lobe of lava had advanced about 950 m (0.6 mi) as of this morning. Yesterday's channel—now inactive—is visible to the right of today's flow. Right: In this thermal image of the northern breakout, the active lava channel and flow front are clearly revealed as bright yellow and pink colors. The channel that was active yesterday, but now stagnate, is visible as a bluish-purple line to the right of today's active flow.

This morning (May 25, 2016), the northern breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō was feeding an impressive channel of lava that extended about 950 m (0.6 mi) northwest of the cone. This channel was about 10 m (32 ft) wide as of 8:30 a.m., HST.

Left: The second flow from the eastern breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō—in the area of the "Peace Day" flow that broke out in September 2011—remained active as of this morning, and its total length was about 1.2 km (0.75 mi) long. This lava flow was slowly spreading laterally, but the flow front had stalled. Right: A slightly closer view of the lava flow from the eastern breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This flow has not advanced significantly since yesterday, but it is slowly widening.

Left: Despite heavy rain, which resulted in blurry spots on this photo due to water droplets on the camera lens, HVO scientists were able to do some of the work they hoped to accomplish during this morning's overflight. Here, an HVO geologist maps the location of active lava from the eastern breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Right: Amidst steam created by rain falling on the hot lava, another HVO geologist uses a rock hammer to collect a sample of the active flow. Analyses of this sample will yield data on the temperature and chemical makeup of the lava, information that is needed to help determine what's happening within the volcano.

May 24, 2016 — Kīlauea


Two new breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō, but new flows remain close to cone

Two new breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō began this morning just before 7:00 a.m., HST. The larger of the two breakouts, shown here, originated on the northeast flank of the cone, at the site of the vent for the ongoing June 27th lava flow. This breakout point fed a vigorous channelized flow that extended about 1 km (0.6 miles). This lava flow had not extended beyond the existing Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field at the time this photo was taken (8:30 a.m., HST).

Left: A wider view of the larger breakout traveling down the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, towards the northwest. This photo was taken at about 8:30am. Right: Another breakout occurred just east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, about 500 m (0.3 miles) from the crater, in the area of the "Peace Day" flow that broke out in September 2011. This second breakout was smaller than the one on the northeast flank, but was still feeding an impressive lava channel. At the time of this photo (8:30 a.m., HST), this flow was about 700 m (0.4 miles) long and traveling towards the southeast.

A video of the larger breakout, flowing northwest.

May 19, 2016 — Kīlauea


Subtle uplift of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater floor over past few days

The crater floor at Puʻu ʻŌʻō has recently experienced minor uplift due to inflation within Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone. The crater floor uplift is subtle, and probably no more than about 1 meter (3 feet) since May 15. Small, hot cracks have appeared on the crater floor during the uplift. Time-lapse images from a thermal camera were used to make this video, which is looped 10 times to highlight the uplift.

May 9, 2016 — Kīlauea


Scattered breakouts northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō; no significant advancement

Scattered breakouts persist northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with no significant advancement over the past month. Today, the farthest active breakouts were 5.8 km (3.6 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Several small breakouts were burning vegetation along the north margin of the flow, at the forest boundary. This photo looks upslope, towards the vent. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen on the skyline in the upper right portion of the image.

The small lava pond in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater was at a higher level today compared to previous visits, and closer to the pit rim. A disruption in the pond created increased spattering and agitation during our observation period. For scale, the pond is about 25 meters (80 ft) in diameter.

Left: A closer look at the spattering and agitation in the small lava pond in Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Right: An HVO geologist approaches one of the small vents in Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater to obtain a spatter sample.