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A new volcano update is being hosted by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in collaboration with the Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

New USGS Report Describes Research Results of the Ongoing Eruption of Kilauea

Aerial view of lava fountain and flows from Pu`u `O`o vent, 1986 The 20-year period of nearly continuous eruption of Kilauea is the volcano's longest since the famous lava-lake activity of the 19th century. No rift-zone eruption in more than 600 years even comes close to matching the duration and volume of activity of these past two decades. Fortunately, such a landmark event came during a period of remarkable technological advancements in volcano monitoring. When the eruption began, the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Geographic Information System (GIS) were but glimmers on the horizon, broadband seismology was in its infancy, and the correlation spectrometer (COSPEC), used to measure SO2 flux, was still very young.

Now, all of these techniques are employed on a daily basis to track the ongoing eruption and construct models about its behavior. The 12 chapters in this volume, written by present or past Hawaiian Volcano Observatory staff members and close collaborators, celebrate the growth of understanding that has resulted from research during the past 20 years of Kilauea’s eruption. The chapters of this new report range widely in emphasis, subject matter, and scope, but all present new concepts or important modifications of previous ideas—in some cases, ideas long held and cherished.

See USGS Professional Paper 1676, The Pu`u `O`o-Kupaianaha Eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i: The First 20 Years.

Archive of previous feature stories

  Aerial view of Pu`u `O`o crater, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
Photograph by R. Hoblitt
20 September 2002
Top: Aerial view of Pu`u `O`o crater looking southwest. Fume rises from spatter cones and other vents located on crater floor and south crater wall. Pu`u `O`o emits about 1,500 tonnes of sulfur dioxide gas a day.

Bottom: Close view of skylight above lava tube for Mother's Day flow, located on southwest flank of Pu`u `O`o. HVO scientists dubbed this the "cookie monster" skylight. Edifice around skylight was built by spatter tossed from lava in tube. This tube supplies all lava downstream in Mother's Day flow.

Archive of Featured Photographs

  Skylight named "Cookie Monster" on southwest flank of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea Volcano
Photograph by J. Kauahikaua
27 September 2002


More Volcano Information from HVO and Beyond

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More USGS Volcano Web sites

Volcano WatchCurrent issue of Volcano Watch essay, written weekly by USGS scientists.
National Park ServiceHawai`i Volcanoes National Park, home to HVO. Find visitor information and resources here. Graphic: Kids DoorVolcanoes for kids, from the Volcano World website.