HVO Photos & Video

Photo & Video Chronology

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November 12, 2015 — Kīlauea

Scattered breakouts northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Though heavy rains prevented a detailed survey today, there was little change in activity observed on today's overflight. As with previous weeks, most breakouts are active within the existing boundaries of the June 27th lava flow, with no major expansion of the flow margins. This photo shows a typical breakout, with Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the distance.

October 28, 2015 — Kīlauea

Halemaʻumaʻu during October 16 lightning storm

Left: A time-lapse camera located in HVO's observation tower captured these interesting images of Halemaʻumaʻu during an intense lightning storm at Kīlauea's summit on October 16. Image captured at 11:36 PM. Right: Image captured at 11:43 PM.

October 23, 2015 — Kīlauea

Scattered breakouts persist northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

This photo looks west towards the upper East Rift Zone of Kīlauea. The fume-filled crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the foreground, and the vent for the June 27th lava flow is just out of view of the lower right corner of the photo. Mauna Loa is visible in the upper right.

A hornito was active in the upper portion of the June 27th flow, with hissing and jetting sounds coming from a small opening at the top. The hornito here was about 2.5 m (8 feet) tall. A hornito is formed by gas and lava forced through a small opening in the roof of a lava tube. One side of the hornito has a small solidified flow of lava that oozed from the top, with the remainder consisting of spatter and Pele's hair.

Left: An HVO geologist collects a sample of active lava for chemical analysis. The lava is quenched with water in the metal bucket. Right: A small channel feeds a lobe of pāhoehoe lava on the eastern margin of the June 27th flow. Scattered breakouts like these were active on the flow field today, with the farthest active lava about 6.4 km (4 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

October 14, 2015 — Kīlauea

Several small collapses as summit lava lake slowly drops

Summit deflation over the past day was associated with the summit lava lake level slowly dropping. When this happens, collapses commonly occur within the Overlook crater. Solidified lava, attached to the Overlook crater walls, collapsed into the lake on several occasions today, triggering small dust plumes and agitation of the lake surface.

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 2530 m (~80100 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.