HVO Photos & Video

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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.

April 13, 2016 — Mauna Loa


Another check of summit cameras

Mauna Loa's summit was cold and clear this morning while HVO scientists performed maintenance on the summit thermal camera and two seismic stations. A few faint steam sources were noted in the usual locations on the caldera floor.

April 12, 2016 — Kīlauea


Scattered breakouts northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, no overall advancement

Surface breakouts remain scattered northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with a slight retreat in the reach of active breakouts since the last overflight on March 25. Today, the farthest active lava was 5.7 km (3.5 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Much of the activity was at the forest boundary, burning trees and creating numerous smoke plumes.

Left: One of the more vigorous breakouts on the flow field today, producing a sheet of blue-glassy pāhoehoe. Right: Views were hampered today by sporadic downpours. Once the rain passed, areas of active breakouts were evident by the larger steam plumes coming from the surface (for example, at the top center of the photograph).

View of Halemaʻumaʻu plume from HVO

One benefit of passing showers today at Kīlauea's summit was a double rainbow. Halemaʻumaʻu Crater is at the right side of the photo, and the gas plume from the active lava lake can be seen drifting towards the southwest. At the far right edge of the image, visitors take in the view at Jaggar Overlook.

April 8, 2016 — Kīlauea


Summit lava lake level drops

HVO geologist uses a laser rangefinder to measure the depth of the lava lake at the summit of Kīlauea in the Overlook crater. The lake level was about 58 m (190 ft) below the crater rim this afternoon. In recent days the lake level has dropped about 35 m (115 ft) as tiltmeters at the summit have recorded a larger than usual deflationary trend. The spattering of the lava lake (middle right of photograph) was triggered by a small rockfall from the north crater wall directly above. Large rockfalls into the lake typically cause small explosions that hurl molten lava onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, one of the hazards of this area (for example, see January 8, 2016, entry below). The tripod in lower right supports one of the Web cams used to track activity of the lava lake.

March 25, 2016 — Kīlauea


Breakouts northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, a small lobe advancing through forest

Breakouts persist northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with scattered activity along the north margin of the flow field at the forest boundary. One narrow lobe of lava has pushed through forest over the past few weeks, and is 7.6 km (4.7 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This photo looks southwest, and the front of the narrow lobe is in the foreground, with Puʻu ʻŌʻō near the top of the photo. The breakouts active at the forest boundary along the northern flow margin can be seen by their smoke plumes along the right side of the photo.

Left: Another view, looking west, showing the activity along the forest boundary and northern flow margin. Scattered breakouts were burning forest in this area. In the upper left portion of the image, Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen. Right: The altered and fractured rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater is prone to small collapses. Portions of the eastern crater rim, shown here, have collapsed onto the crater floor, covering the recent lava flows with rubble.

Left: In the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater, there has been a small pit for nearly a year. The pit is about 60 m (200 feet) wide, and a small circular lava pond resides beneath the overhanging west rim of this pit. Right: HVO geologists walk along the edge of the inner crater in Puʻu ʻŌʻō, making stops periodically to perform laser rangefinder measurements of crater dimensions.

This Quicktime movie shows one of the more vigorous breakouts on the flow field today.

Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake remains active

Last Saturday, March 19, marked the 8-year anniversary of the start of Kīlauea's ongoing summit eruption in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. Halemaʻumaʻu spans much of the width of this photo, and the small inner crater in the foreground is the Overlook crater, which contains the active lava lake. The gas plume at this time was originating from a spattering area in the southern portion of the lake, obscured by the crater wall from this angle.