HVO Photos & Video

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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.

May 7, 2015 — Kīlauea


Summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater remains at high level

The lava lake in the Overlook crater, within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at Kīlauea's summit, remains at a high level and close to the Overlook crater rim. Overflows onto the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor have built up the rim of the Overlook crater several meters, and recent overflows are visible in the right side of the photograph. The lake level this afternoon was about 7 meters (yards) above the original (pre-overflow) floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. Spattering was vigorous today in the southern portion of the lake. From this view, the spattering was hidden behind a portion of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater wall, but airborne spatter can be seen in the bottom left portion of the photo. The summit of Mauna Loa can be seen in the upper right.

This Quicktime movie shows spattering at the margin of the summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. Spattering has been common at the lake, and when it occurs is easily visible from the public viewing area at Jaggar Museum. This video shows a closer view from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu, which is closed to the public due to volcanic hazards.

May 5, 2015 — Kīlauea


Breakouts continue northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

The June 27th lava flow remains active, with breakouts focused in several areas northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The farthest downslope activity observed on today's overflight was roughly 8 km (5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This photograph shows one of the active breakouts closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

One of several lobes on the June 27th flow that was at the forest boundary today, burning vegetation northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater remains at high level

Over the past week, the summit lava lake in the Overlook crater rose and spilled out onto the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, creating the dark flows in the south part of Halemaʻumaʻu (left side of crater from this direction). The extent of the lake itself, set within the Overlook crater, is slightly difficult to distinguish from this view but the spattering at the lake margin is visible. The overflows onto the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor, not counting the area of the lake itself, total about 11 hectares (28 acres).

Left: A closer look at the lava lake and overflows on the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The outline of the Overlook crater, and the active lake, is easier to distinguish in this view. Right: From this angle, the extent of the lava lake within the Overlook crater is much easier to distinguish from the surrounding overflows. The closed Halemaʻumaʻu parking lot is in the right side of the photograph.

May 3, 2015 — Kīlauea


Rockfall triggers small explosive event at summit lava lake

A portion of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater wall collapsed at 1:20 pm today, impacting the lava lake and triggering a small explosion of spatter and a robust particle-laden plume. Fist-size clasts were deposited around the closed Halemaʻumaʻu visitor overlook.

A sequence of still images taken from the webcam positioned at the closed Halemaʻumaʻu overlook, spanning about six seconds. The collapse originated from a portion of the wall directly below the webcam, but just out of view. Large pieces of molten spatter can be seen flying through the air and being deposited on the crater walls below the camera.

This Quicktime movie shows a small explosive event that occurred at 1:20pm today at the summit lava lake. A collapse of a portion of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater wall impacted the lake and triggered an explosion of spatter. Fist-size clasts were found scattered along the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater near the closed visitor overlook.

April 30, 2015 — Kīlauea


Summit lava lake level remains high

Following several episodes of lava overflowing onto the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, the lava lake level remains high, and close to the rim of the Overlook crater. This photograph was taken from the southern rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, where a time-lapse camera keeps watch on the lava lake and overflow activity. The recent overflows are visible in the center of the photograph. HVO and Jaggar Museum are on the high point on the skyline near the top-center portion of the photograph. Mauna Loa is in the upper left portion of the photograph.

April 29, 2015 — Kīlauea


Summit lava lake overflows vent rim

Photo from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu showing the lava lake in the completely filled Overlook crater. Repeated overflows are beginning to construct levees around the lake, such that the level of the lake is now perched about 2 m (7 ft) above the original floor of Halemaʻumaʻu.

Left: Photo of the overflowing lava lake taken from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu. Right: Identical to photo at left, but with labels. The dashed white line indicates the lava lake rim.

Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake, which was about 12 m (40 ft) below the vent rim on April 25 (left), overflowed the vent rim for the first time at about 9:40 p.m., HST, on April 28. As of noon on April 29 (right), the lava lake had overflowed the vent rim several more times. These Webcam images capture the summit vent before and after the overflows.

An early morning view of the lava lake with a recent overflow onto the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.

April 28, 2015 — Kīlauea


Lava lake level remains high, rockfall triggers explosive event

A rockfall from the wall of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater impacted the lava lake around 10:20 am, triggering an explosion of spatter and smaller particles. HVO geologists working on the far side of the crater captured the initial moments of the plume rising. The explosion deposited a large amount of spatter around the closed Halemaʻumaʻu visitor overlook.

Quicktime movie of the rockfall and subsequent explosion at 10:20 a.m., HST, on April 28, 2015. Rocks falling into the summit lava lake generated an explosion that threw large fragments of molten lava onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, 85 m (280 ft) above the lake. These fragments pose a significant hazard, and are one reason this area remains closed.

Left: A closer look at the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater overlook. The large boulders were ejected during the 1924 explosion, but today's explosive event carpeted the ground with many large pieces of brown spatter. Right: A close look at one of the large pieces of spatter thrown onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater by today's explosion (keys are for scale). The spatter hit the ground in a semi-fluid state, deforming on impact. The small, multi-colored particles incorporated in the spatter are fragments of the altered crater wall that collapsed into the lake, while the brown spatter represents fresh lava from the lake.

Left: The explosion threw spatter that hit the remaining fencing on the Halemaʻumaʻu overlook, partly burning it. Keys for scale. Right: Portions of the Halemaʻumaʻu overlook fencing were knocked down by previous explosive events, and also by the wind over the past several years. The downed fencing, shown smoldering here, was then ignited by hot spatter from today's explosive event.

Left: Spatter from the explosion also landed on the Halemaʻumaʻu webcam, melting some of the wire insulation but not enough to interrupt its operation. Right: Gas in the lava lake was rapidly released during the 10:20 am explosive event, causing the lava lake surface to drop a few meters (yards). This photo was taken moments after the explosive event, and shows the overhanging ledge of lava along the rim that was exposed as the lava level dropped.

Early this morning, prior to the explosive event at 10:20 am, the lake was close to the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, with spattering along the lake margin.

April 26, 2015 — Kīlauea


Lava lake reaches new high level

Left: This photo shows the lava lake in the Overlook crater this morning, when it reached to within 3 m (10 ft) of the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu. This is the highest the lava lake has reached during the current summit eruption. Right: This photo shows another view of the lava lake, from a different perspective, when it was at its highest level.

Left: This is a view of spattering at the east corner of the lava lake this morning. Right: Another view of spattering this morning.

April 25, 2015 — Kīlauea


Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake continues to rise

Left: The lava lake within the Overlook crater in Halemaʻumaʻu, at Kīlauea volcano, continues to rise. It was measured at 12 m (~39 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu at about 8 AM this morning, when this photo was taken. Right: This grainy evening photo shows the lake at 6:30 PM, when it was a mere 7 m (23 ft) below the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor.

This photo, taken at mid-day, shows the lava lake as seen from the west side of Halemaʻumaʻu, which offers a different perspective. The lava lake was about 10 m (33 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu at this time.

April 24, 2015 — Kīlauea


Rising lava level in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater

The level of the lava lake within the Overlook crater, set within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, continues to rise. Today, the level was as high as 14 meters (46 feet) below the Overlook crater rim. This photograph was taken from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, in an area closed to the public due to volcanic hazards, but the lava level was high enough today that the lava lake surface could be seen from Jaggar Overlook, which is open to the public.

The lava lake in the Overlook Crater, within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, has been rising over the past few days. Today the lava was as high as 14 meters (46 feet) below the Overlook crater rim. Several areas of spattering were active along the lake margin.

April 23, 2015 — Kīlauea


Breakouts continue northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Breakouts on the June 27th lava flow remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. A new, small, breakout appeared recently from the tube adjacent to Puʻu Kahaualeʻa, the small forested cone near the center of the photograph. The new breakout is the light-colored curved flow in the left portion of the photograph. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the upper right portion of the photo.

Left: The farthest active breakout on the June 27th flow reached about 8 km (5 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The tip of this breakout was narrow and burning forest. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at the top of the photograph. Right: A small breakout from an inflated portion of the June 27th flow. Large gas bubbles reach the surface near the source of the breakout, and are then carried and deformed as the surface advances and cools.

Left: The June 27th flow covers much of the top of the photograph, and recent expansion of the flow margins has sent lava cascading into one of the ponds on the 2007 perched lava channel. This 2007 lava fills the bottom of the photograph, and is covered with yellow alteration. Right: Over the past week small flows have filled the bottom of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater. These flows originated from vents in the south portion of the crater, and one of the flows can be seen near the center of the photograph.

Lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater reaches new high level

The Overlook crater lava lake, within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at Kīlauea's summit, has been rising over the past few days, and today reached the highest point yet measured for the current summit eruption. The lava lake this afternoon was 20 meters (66 feet) below the Overlook crater rim.

Left: Another view of the lava lake, with several areas of spattering active. Right: The lava level was high enough at the lava lake this evening that bits of spatter were reaching the rim of the Overlook crater.

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