HVO Photos & Video

Photo & Video Chronology

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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.

June 19, 2015 — Kīlauea


Scattered breakouts northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, but little forward advancement

Scattered breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on the June 27th lava flow, but have not advanced significantly over the past month. This photo shows the farthest reach of active lava on the flow field today, which was about 8 km (5 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Minor brush fires were active where lava was entering forest.

Left: This photograph shows the south margin of the June 27th flow, northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, where many small scattered breakouts were active. The active, and recently active, breakouts are visible at the light gray areas. Right: Little has changed in Puʻu ʻŌʻō over the past month, and a small lava pond still exists within the circular pit in the western portion of the crater. This pit can be seen through the fume in this photo, and a tiny area of incandescence at the edge of the active pond is barely visible.

Scattered breakouts were active at the margins of the June 27th flow, with only minor expansion of the flow margins over the past two weeks. This photo shows an active breakout on the south margin of the June 27th flow, moving over older ʻaʻā from Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

June 9, 2015 — Kīlauea


Summit lava lake well below Overlook crater rim

One month ago the summit lava lake was at the rim of the Overlook crater (the small crater in the center of the photo), spilling lava onto the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater (the larger crater that fills much of the photo), creating the dark flows surrounding the Overlook crater. Since that time the lava lake has dropped, associated with summit deflation, and today the lake level was about 60 meters (200 feet) below the Overlook crater rim. The stack of recent overflows is visible on the wall of the Overlook crater as the layer of dark lava atop the older, light colored lava forming the majority of the Overlook crater wall.

The photo is taken from the southeast rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The closed Halemaʻumaʻu overlook is in the upper left corner of the photo. Jaggar Museum and HVO can be seen as a small bump on the horizon in the upper right portion of the photograph.

June 4, 2015 — Kīlauea


Scattered breakouts northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Scattered breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. On today's overflight, breakouts were active as far as 8 km (5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Some of this activity was at the forest boundary, burning vegetation. This narrow lobe, one of several active on the flow field today, traveled over earlier Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava (light brown) to reach the forest boundary.

Activity at Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains relatively steady. This photograph looks towards the southwest, and shows outgassing from numerous areas in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. On the far side of the crater, the small circular pit (right of center) had a small lava pond that was too deep to see from this angle.

Left: As shown in the May 21 field photos, the small forested cone of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa has been slowly buried by flows over the past several months. All that remains today are narrow portions of the rim standing above the lava. Right: Recent lava on the June 27th flow cascaded over the overhanging rim of this collapse pit on an earlier portion of the flow field.

Summit activity continues in Halemaʻumaʻu

Left: A wide view of the northern portion of Kīlauea Caldera, on an exceptionally clear day. HVO and Jaggar Museum can be seen as the light-colored spot on the caldera rim. Mauna Loa is in the distance. Right: Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, looking west. The dark area on the crater floor consists of recent overflows from the Overlook crater. The Overlook crater is near the left edge of the photo, and a portion of the active lava lake surface can be seen below the rim.

May 21, 2015 — Kīlauea


Puʻu Kahaualeʻa nearly gone; lava flow intersects old tube

Puʻu Kahaualeʻa has been buried slowly by the Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption over the years, and the ongoing June 27th flow has nearly finished the job. The image on the left shows Puʻu Kahaualeʻa on June 30, 2014, a few days after the June 27th flow started (the ʻaʻā flow just behind the cone is from the early stages of that flow); the image on the right shows Puʻu Kahaualeʻa today (May 21, 2015) from nearly the same perspective. Only the highest parts of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa's twin craters remain.

The most distant active tip of the June 27th flow, visible at the left edge of the photo, was about 8.5 km (~5.3 miles) from Puʻu ʻŌʻō today. This lobe of the flow intersected an old lava tube earlier in the week that transported lava a short distance downslope, where it emerged from skylights to make several small isolated pads of lava (center of the photo). The view is to the southwest, so Puʻu ʻŌʻō is well off in the distance beyond the top of the photo.

May 15, 2015 — Kīlauea


Kīlauea summit vent lava lake continues to drop

Kīlauea Volcano's summit lava lake continued to drop today (May 15, 2015). Measurements of the lake surface late this afternoon showed that it was 62 m (203 ft) below the top of the newly-created vent rim, a ridge (or levee) of solidified lava about 8 m (26 ft) thick that accumulated on top of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor from multiple overflows of the vent during the past two weeks.

HVO webcams captured a short-lived dusty-brown plume generated by a small rock fall from the summit vent wall at 3:24 p.m., HST, this afternoon (May 15, 2015).

May 13, 2015 — Kīlauea


Webcam images capture lava veneer falling into summit lava lake

This sequence of HVO webcam images of Kīlauea Volcano's summit vent, recorded between 1:28 and 1:32 p.m., HST, on May 12, 2015, captures the moment a section of the dark-colored "bathtub ring" (a veneer of fresh lava that coats the vent wall as the lava lake level drops) fell into the lava lake (center). The lava veneer collapse, which produced a visible cloud of rock and lava fragments, agitated the lava lake surface and exposed lighter-colored layers of older rock in the vent wall (right).

May 12, 2015 — Kīlauea


Lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater drops with summit deflation

The summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater has dropped significantly over the past two days, as Kīlauea's summit has deflated. The dropping lava level has allowed lava veneer on the walls of the Overlook crater to fall away, clearly exposing the contact between the original rim of the Overlook crater (which is the original, pre-overflow floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater) and the stack of recent lava overflows. These overflows are roughly 8 meters (26 feet) thick in total.