USGS
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
yellow horizontal separator line

skip past main content navigational bar Kilauea
bullet - no meaningEruption
spacerSummary

bullet - no meaningHazards
bullet - no meaningHistory
bullet - no meaningPu`u `O`o
spacerPanorama

yellow horizontal separator line

Mauna Loa

yellow horizontal separator line

Earthquakes

yellow horizontal separator line

Other Volcanoes

yellow horizontal separator line

Volcanic Hazards

yellow horizontal separator line

About HVO  

yellow horizontal separator line

Kilauea

Note: Check Photo Glossary or a good dictionary for any terms unfamiliar to you.

Images and Chronology
Looking for images you could swear you saw here but can't find now? Check Image Archive

29 May 2008

Thermal can 'see' and a dull orange glow

Thermal cameras can 'see' through much of the thick fume at Pu`u `O`o crater, revealing the new gas vent observed this past week.  The vent is about 6 yards wide and about 20 yards below the crater's east rim. The vent coincides with a hot horizontal crack.
Thermal cameras can 'see' through much of the thick fume at Pu`u `O`o crater, revealing the new gas vent observed this past week. The vent is about 6 yards wide and about 20 yards below the crater's east rim. The vent coincides with a hot horizontal crack.
HVO geologist Kelly Wooten checks on the Pu`u `O`o webcam at the rim of Pu`u `O`o crater.  In the distance, fume marks the location of the TEB vent.
A dull orange crust grows over rushing lava within the TEB tube.  Flow direction is towards the upper right corner of the photograph.
Left. HVO geologist Kelly Wooten checks on the Pu`u `O`o webcam at the rim of Pu`u `O`o crater. In the distance, fume marks the location of the TEB vent. Right. A dull orange crust grows over rushing lava within the TEB tube. Flow direction is towards the upper right corner of the photograph.

23 May 2008

Flying high over Halema`uma`u, Waikupanaha bench, and a new gas jet at Pu`u `O`o Crater

Flying at about the elevation of the plume top, this video shows a number of aspects of the ongoing activity at Halema`uma`u Crater. The mostly whitish plume rises to an elevation of about 5,500 feet and blows first to the southwest but apparently spreads to the west over the Ka`u Desert. Mauna Loa rises above the clouds in the background. In addition, the ash deposited beneath the plume can be seen as a lighter ground color. The lighter colored ash can also be seen on Halema`uma`u Crater floor adjacent to the vent.
Flying at about the elevation of the plume top, this video shows a number of aspects of the ongoing activity at Halema`uma`u Crater. The mostly whitish plume rises to an elevation of about 5,500 feet and blows first to the southwest but apparently spreads to the west over the Ka`u Desert. Mauna Loa rises above the clouds in the background. In addition, the ash deposited beneath the plume can be seen as a lighter ground color. The lighter colored ash can also be seen on Halema`uma`u Crater floor adjacent to the vent.
Closeup of the new vent from a hovering helicopter showing hazy views of incandescence deep inside the vent.
Closeup of the new vent from a hovering helicopter showing hazy views of incandescence deep inside the vent.
HVO geologist Matt Patrick (left in balaclava) discussing lava sampling procedures with a film crew from National Geographic.
Excellent view of the Waikupanaha bench showing some growth over the past week.
Left. HVO geologist Matt Patrick (left in balaclava) discussing lava sampling procedures with a film crew from National Geographic. Right. Excellent view of the Waikupanaha bench showing some growth over the past week.
View of the gas plume from Pu`u `O`o Crater with a new gas jet issuing from under the east rim in the foreground. The new gas jet appears a bit whiter than the crater-filling plume behind it.
Aerial view of the gas and ash plume from Halema`uma`u with the gas plume from Pu`u `O`o in the distance. The three hills on the horizon are, from right to left, Mauna Ulu (active 1969-1974), Kane Nui o Hamo (small eruption June 19, 2007), and Pu`u `O`o.
Left. View of the gas plume from Pu`u `O`o Crater with a new gas jet issuing from under the east rim in the foreground. The new gas jet appears a bit whiter than the crater-filling plume behind it. Right. Aerial view of the gas and ash plume from Halema`uma`u with the gas plume from Pu`u `O`o in the distance. The three hills on the horizon are, from right to left, Mauna Ulu (active 1969-1974), Kane Nui o Hamo (small eruption June 19, 2007), and Pu`u `O`o.

20 May 2008

Waikupanaha bench action

Closeup of the Waikupanaha bench showing small lava flows that have issued from cracks.
Wave action erodes the inactive eastern portion of the Waikupanaha bench undermining the bench and causing blocks to separate and slowly slide into the ocean. Steam and gas from the active tube supplying lava to the ocean entries (left of the photo) can be seen inland of the bench.
Left. Closeup of the Waikupanaha bench showing small lava flows that have issued from cracks. Right. Wave action erodes the inactive eastern portion of the Waikupanaha bench undermining the bench and causing blocks to separate and slowly slide into the ocean. Steam and gas from the active tube supplying lava to the ocean entries (left of the photo) can be seen inland of the bench.

18 May 2008

Today is the 28th anniversary of the Mount St. Helens eruption and the 84th anniversary of the most recent fatal explosion at Kilauea in 1924. Both eruptions took place on a Sunday and killed a man named Truman.

A peaceful sunrise

The vent was quiet this morning, with only the wind sounds and no rocks. If you've read Three Cups of Tea, you'll remember that Dr. Greg was told to listen to the wind. I did so this morning, but the wind kept any secret it might have.
The vent was quiet this morning, with only the wind sounds and no rocks. If you've read Three Cups of Tea, you'll remember that Dr. Greg was told to listen to the wind. I did so this morning, but the wind kept any secret it might have.
The vent was quiet this morning, with only the wind sounds and no rocks. If you've read Three Cups of Tea, you'll remember that Dr. Greg was told to "listen to the wind." I did so this morning, but the wind kept any secret it might have.

16 May 2008

Lava plunges into a submarine tube

The Waikupanaha delta hosts three primary ocean entry points.  On the right side of the photograph is a linear discolored feature which indicates the ground above the subsurface lava tube.  The red gravel road in the center of the center of the photograph was mostly covered by lava in March.
Lava plunges into a submarine tube at the middle entry on the Waikupanaha delta.  At the right edge of the photo are steaming cracks, clear evidence that the new delta is inherently unstable.
Left. The Waikupanaha delta hosts three primary ocean entry points. On the right side of the photograph is a linear discolored feature which indicates the ground above the subsurface lava tube. The red gravel road in the center of the center of the photograph was mostly covered by lava in March. Right. Lava plunges into a submarine tube at the middle entry on the Waikupanaha delta. At the right edge of the photo are steaming cracks, clear evidence that the new delta is inherently unstable.

14 May 2008

Cool comparison of wind pattern

Halema`uma`u plume from Highway 11 above the Volcano Rubbish Dump. Stagnant surface winds, combined with higher elevation winds, caused the plume to rise straight up and then shear off.  Compare the different wind patterns from May 13, 2008 on the left and April 8, 2008 on the right.
Halema`uma`u plume from Highway 11 above the Volcano Rubbish Dump. Stagnant surface winds, combined with higher elevation winds, caused the plume to rise straight up and then shear off.  Compare the different wind patterns from May 13, 2008 on the left and April 8, 2008 on the right.
Halema`uma`u plume from Highway 11 above the Volcano Rubbish Dump. Stagnant surface winds, combined with higher elevation winds, caused the plume to rise straight up and then shear off. Compare the different wind patterns from May 13, 2008 on the left and April 8, 2008 on the right.
Halema`uma`u plume from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Stagnant surface winds, combined with higher elevation winds, caused the plume to rise straight up and then shear off.  Compare the different wind patterns from May 13, 2008 on the left and April 8, 2008 on the right.
Halema`uma`u plume from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Stagnant surface winds, combined with higher elevation winds, caused the plume to rise straight up and then shear off.  Compare the different wind patterns from May 13, 2008 on the left and April 8, 2008 on the right.
Halema`uma`u plume from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Stagnant surface winds, combined with higher elevation winds, caused the plume to rise straight up and then shear off. Compare the different wind patterns from May 13, 2008 on the left and April 8, 2008 on the right.

13 May 2008

Skylight and steam plume at Waikupanaha ocean entry

A skylight in the foreground offers a view into the lava streaming through the tube to the ocean, marked by a vigorous steam plume at the coast.
The steam plume marks the Waikupanaha ocean entry at the end of a zig-zag trail of fuming spots marking the subsurface tube transporting lava. The upper end of the tube is the TEB shield - Pu`u `O`o is to the left and partially masked in low clouds at the top of the photo.
Left. A skylight in the foreground offers a view into the lava streaming through the tube to the ocean, marked by a vigorous steam plume at the coast.Right. The steam plume marks the Waikupanaha ocean entry at the end of a zig-zag trail of fuming spots marking the subsurface tube transporting lava. The upper end of the tube is the TEB shield - Pu`u `O`o is to the left and partially masked in low clouds at the top of the photo.
Closeup of the eastern Waikupanaha entry fed by a short lava stream from the bench. The steaming sweater just beyond is from the middle Waikupanaha entry.The Halema`uma`u plume rises over Crater Rim Drive.
Closeup of the eastern Waikupanaha entry fed by a short lava stream from the bench. The steaming water just beyond is from the middle Waikupanaha entry.

10 May 2008

Vigorous littoral explosion and tumuli on the bench

Waikupanaha entry was producing some small-moderate littoral explosions. The westernmost entry, which has hosted littoral explosions in the past and has had a long-lived littoral cone, was producing the most vigorous explosions, approximately 20-30 m in height.
The new littoral cone, behind the two tumuli on the bench.
Left. Waikupanaha entry was producing some small-moderate littoral explosions. The westernmost entry, which has hosted littoral explosions in the past and has had a long-lived littoral cone, was producing the most vigorous explosions, approximately 20-30 m in height. Right. The new littoral cone, behind the two tumuli on the bench.

9 May 2008

Beautiful Halema`uma`u views, spectacular look into the vent

The Halema`uma`u plume rises over Crater Rim Drive.
The Halema`uma`u plume rises over Crater Rim Drive. View from Keanakakoi.
Halema`uma`u's white plume drifts towards Kau in this early morning photo.
One of the best views so far into the new vent at Halema`uma`u, showing the overhanging rim above a uniformly bright orange glow.
Left. Halema`uma`u's white plume drifts towards Kau in this early morning photo. Right. One of the best views so far into the new vent at Halema`uma`u, showing the overhanging rim above a uniformly bright orange glow.

Waikupanaha ocean entry-the sea versus the new lava delta, a clear line of fume

Lava - flowing through tubes on the coastal plain - continues to reach the sea at the Waikupanaha ocean entry.  In the foreground, the viewing area can be seen.  Pu`u `O`o can be seen in the upper right portion of the photo.
The sea versus the new Waikupanaha lava delta.  A narrow black sand beach, consisting of fragmented lava, forms at the front of the delta.  In the left portion of the photo, an ocean entry plume is emitted.  At its source, a new 'littoral' (coastal) cinder cone has formed as a result of small explosions at the ocean entry.
Left. Lava - flowing through tubes on the coastal plain - continues to reach the sea at the Waikupanaha ocean entry. In the foreground, the viewing area can be seen. Pu`u `O`o can be seen in the upper right portion of the photo. Right. The sea versus the new Waikupanaha lava delta. A narrow black sand beach, consisting of fragmented lava, forms at the front of the delta. In the left portion of the photo, an ocean entry plume is emitted. At its source, a new 'littoral' (coastal) cinder cone has formed as a result of small explosions at the ocean entry.
The TEB vent vigorously emits fume in the center of the photograph, with the now-inactive perched channel in the foreground.
Looking upslope, a clear line of fume traces the active lava tube sourced from the Fissure D and the TEB vent, the fuming source at the center-top of the photograph.  In the upper-left Pu`u `O`o emits its own large plume.
Left. The TEB vent vigorously emits fume in the center of the photograph, with the now-inactive perched channel in the foreground. Right. Looking upslope, a clear line of fume traces the active lava tube sourced from the Fissure D and the TEB vent, the fuming source at the center-top of the photograph. In the upper-left Pu`u `O`o emits its own large plume.

7 May 2008

Halema`uma`u view from Mauna Loa, recent breakouts, and Waikupanaha ocean entries

Halema`uma`u plume from Mauna Loa Southeast Flank.
Halema`uma`u from Steaming Bluff.
Left. Halema`uma`u plume from Mauna Loa Southeast Flank. Right. Halema`uma`u from Steaming Bluff.
View of recent breakouts on the upper portion of the rootless shield complex.  The TEB shield and shield 1 are fuming above the breakouts, and Pu`u `O`o is in the background to the left.
A closer view of the breakout point on the top of rootless shield 3.
Left. View of recent breakouts on the upper portion of the rootless shield complex. The TEB shield and shield 1 are fuming above the breakouts, and Pu`u `O`o is in the background to the left. Right. A closer view of the breakout point on the top of rootless shield 3.
Looking southwest over the terminus of Highway 130 (lower right) and recent TEB flows on the coastal flat.  The lava has been relatively stable in one or more tubes and is carried from the TEB vent to the ocean.
Lava enters the ocean creating three laze plumes at the Waikupanaha lava delta.  Notice the steaming rocks floating in front of the most eastern plume.
Left. Looking southwest over the terminus of Highway 130 (lower right) and recent TEB flows on the coastal flat. The lava has been relatively stable in one or more tubes and is carried from the TEB vent to the ocean. Right. Lava enters the ocean creating three laze plumes at the Waikupanaha lava delta. Notice the steaming rocks floating in front of the most eastern plume.

2 May 2008

Visible/Thermal images and a rare view inside the new vent of Halema`uma`u

A weak plume emanates from the Waikupanaha ocean entry.  Thermal images, like the one shown here, can reveal the location of subsurface lava tubes by showing linear traces of warm ground above the tube.  This image shows the two tubes which feed the Waikupanaha delta.  The eastern tube, though still warm, appears to be inactive.
A weak plume emanates from the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Thermal images, like the one shown here, can reveal the location of subsurface lava tubes by showing linear traces of warm ground above the tube. This image shows the two tubes which feed the Waikupanaha delta. The eastern tube, though still warm, appears to be inactive.
Geologist samples lava from a skylight on the coastal plain.  The glob of lava is stuck to a hammer head attached to the end of a steel cable.
A near-vertical angle permits a rare view deep inside the new vent at Halema`uma`u, showing a dull-red glow.  The visitor overlook fence at the crater rim is visible on the left, with two large portions of the fence destroyed by recent explosion debris.
Left. Geologist samples lava from a skylight on the coastal plain. The glob of lava is stuck to a hammer head attached to the end of a steel cable. Right. A near-vertical angle permits a rare view deep inside the new vent at Halema`uma`u, showing a dull-red glow. The visitor overlook fence at the crater rim is visible on the left, with two large portions of the fence destroyed by recent explosion debris.

1 May 2008

Morning magic at Kilauea

Brisk trade winds this morning kept the Halema`uma`u plume low to the ground against a backdrop of high clouds in a deep blue sky.
Brisk trade winds this morning kept the Halema`uma`u plume low to the ground against a backdrop of high clouds in a deep blue sky.
Brisk trade winds this morning kept the Halema`uma`u plume low to the ground against a backdrop of high clouds in a deep blue sky.

Geologists prepare for more ejecta

Geologists cleaned debris from the last three explosions of Halemaumau from a large square near the crater rim.  This will enable them to identify and sample the products of any future explosions from the new vent.
Geologists cleaned debris from the last three explosions of Halemaumau from a large square near the crater rim.  This will enable them to identify and sample the products of any future explosions from the new vent.
Geologists cleaned debris from the last three explosions of Halemaumau from a large square near the crater rim. This will enable them to identify and sample the products of any future explosions from the new vent.

Eruption-viewing opportunities change constantly, so refer to this page often. Those readers planning a visit to Kilauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes can get much useful information from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.


Homeblank spacerVolcano Watchblank spacerProductsblank spacerGalleryblank spacerPress Releases
How Hawaiian Volcanoes Work

The URL of this page is http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/kilauea/update/images.html
Contact: hvowebmaster@usgs.gov
Updated: 29 May 2008 (pnf)