HVO Photos & Video

Photo & Video Chronology

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April 27, 2017 — Kīlauea

Delta at the Kamokuna ocean entry slowly growing

The episode 61g Kamokuna ocean entry has been slowly building a new lava delta for a little over a month now. Since our April 15 post, the delta has grown substantially. Two large cracks parallel to the coast are visible on the delta (center), with the distal portion slumping slightly seaward—suggesting further instability. Today, the ocean entry activity, most of which was located along the western side of the delta and obscured by the thick plume, was producing occasional weak littoral explosions.

Kīlauea summit lava lake level falls with return to deflation

Left: Early this morning the lava lake level was measured at 12.5 m (41 ft) below the vent rim, the highest level the lake reached this month. But, at around 8:30 a.m., summit inflation switched to deflation and the lava lake level began to drop. Right: By mid-afternoon, when these photos were taken, the drop in the lava lake level was obvious. A "bathtub ring" of black lava forming a rim on the vent wall (between the lighter-colored rocks higher in the wall and the surface of the lava lake) provides a record of the lake's previous higher level.

April 15, 2017 — Kīlauea

Small delta at the ocean entry

The ocean entry at Kamokuna remains active, with a small lava delta. Views of the lava streams entering the water were obscured by the thick plume. Very weak littoral explosions were occurring.

April 10, 2017 — Kīlauea

Episode 61g Kamokuna ocean entry remains active

A small delta at the Kamokuna ocean entry (left) continues to slowly build. Our observations this afternoon (April 10) indicate that the coastal plain breakouts that had been active since mid-February have died within the last few days. Currently, the only active surface flows are from the March 5 breakout on the upper flow field. This activity has not significantly advanced, and remains within roughly 3.5 km (2.2 mi) of the episode 61g vent. The National Park Service viewing area and rope line are visible in the center of the photo.

This video clip shows the Kamokuna ocean entry, with the laze plume blocking the view of the delta. The billowing white cloud rising from the ocean entry is a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.

April 8, 2017 — Kīlauea

Small delta has formed at ocean entry; evidence of recent delta collapses

A small delta has formed at the Kamokuna ocean entry, but views of the delta have been largely obscured by the thick ocean entry plume.

Left: A closer view of the delta. A small black sand beach is visible on its eastern side (bottom of photo). Right: Fragments of floating lava drift away from the ocean entry, creating small steam plumes as the hot lava boils the seawater.

A field of blocks on the sea cliff above the ocean entry suggest that lava delta collapses and explosions have recently occurred. The blocks are resting on a thick layer of Pele's hair and limu o Pele, which are small glassy particles that fall from the ocean entry plume.

HVO geologists encountered only one tiny breakout on the coastal plain on Saturday. The pali can be seen in the background.

March 30, 2017 — Kīlauea

Small delta at Kamokuna ocean entry

The episode 61g flow continues to enter the ocean at the Kamokuna ocean entry (center), and was producing a robust plume. The western Kamokuna delta, which was abandoned in late September 2016, is visible to the left of the entry. A few weak surface breakouts were still active on the coastal plain, but most surface activity is within approximately 3.5 km (2.2 miles) of the vent. The episode 61g tube is marked by fume traces that can be seen along the flow field, and Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible in the center of the skyline.

A close-up view of the Kamokuna ocean entry. A tiny delta has been building, but is not clearly visible through the thick plume. One spot of incandescence can be seen through a break in the plume (center) just above sea level. Floating, steaming blocks were also seen in the water just off the ocean entry (lower middle-right).

March 20, 2017 — Kīlauea

A 3D tour of Kīlauea's summit lava lake

This 3D model of the lava lake at Kīlauea's summit was constructed from a series of thermal images acquired during an overflight on Thursday, March 16. For scale, the lava lake is about 250 meters (820 ft) across. The lake is within the Overlook crater, which is within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.

The model shows that a portion of the Overlook crater wall, along the southern wall of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, is overhanging. If this portion of the crater wall collapses it could trigger a small explosive event, similar to those which occurred in November and December of 2016.

March 16, 2017 — Kīlauea

Lava stream at ocean entry continues

A firehose of lava continues to pour into the sea at the Kamokuna ocean entry, sending a plume of steam, hydrochloric acid, and glass particles into the air and drifting downwind. Offshore, lava entering the sea also produces plumes of hot, discolored water. The circular area of dark water in front of the entry is a region of cooler water between the split plumes of hotter water.

Left: A closer view of the ocean entry and plumes of hot, discolored water. Right: A thermal image shows the two plumes of hot water extending out from the ocean entry point. A circular area of cool water is directly in front of the entry point, between the two plumes. Several boats leave tracks of stirred-up cooler water cutting through the hot water on the surface.

A closer view of the lava firehose at the ocean entry. The lava stream here is roughly 1-2 meters wide (3-6 ft), and plunges about 20 m (66 ft) into the water.

Left: Puʻu ʻŌʻō started as a cinder and spatter cone in the 1980s, but over the past 30 years flank vents on the cone have produced stacks of lava flows, creating a broad shield around the cone. This view looks north and shows the shield shape clearly. Mauna Kea Volcano can be seen in the distance. Right: A lava pond has been present in a small pit in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater for nearly two years. Unusually clear views today revealed several areas of spattering, and some crustal foundering.

Lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater rising over past day

Summit inflation over the past day has driven the lava lake to rise slightly. This morning, the surface of the lake was about 23.5 m (77 ft) below the Overlook crater rim. In this photo, spattering was occurring along the southern lake margin in two locations.

March 2, 2017 — Kīlauea

Sluggish breakout on Kīlauea Volcano's coastal plain remains active

The surface breakout that started on February 10 remains active on the coastal plain just east of the main episode 61g lava flow field. The flow front, pictured here, advanced to about 300 m (0.2 miles) from the emergency access road in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, but appeared to be stalled this afternoon. However, there is still active pāhoehoe visible on the coastal plain, with the closest breakouts observed at about 500 m (0.3 miles) from the road.

February 22, 2017 — Kīlauea

61g coastal lava flow remains active

Today (February 22, 2017), the breakout along the eastern edge of Kīlauea Volcano's episode 61g flow remains active and had advanced approximately 570 m (620 yards) since it was last mapped on February 14. The flow front consisted of sluggish, oozing pāhoehoe that was approximately 730 m (0.5 miles) from the ocean and 540 m (0.3 miles) from the emergency route road. Channelized lava flows have been recently reported on Pūlama pali, but no active channels were seen by HVO geologists while working in the area this afternoon. They did, however, observe scattered breakouts on the pali.

February 14, 2017 — Kīlauea

A Valentine's Day view of Kīlauea Volcano's summit lava lake

Today, Kīlauea Volcano's summit lava lake level was 21 m (69 ft) below the vent rim. A long stretch of active spattering was visible along the east lake margin from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, an area that remains closed to the public due to ongoing hazards. The usual spatter source to the southeast was small by comparison. In the afternoon light, the dark lava flows on either side of the vent rim were quite visible. These flows spilled onto the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater in April-May 2015, and again in October 2016, when the lava lake level briefly rose above the vent rim several times.

A telephoto view of the east lake margin showed that the spattering was focused in small embayments created by promontories of cooled, congealed lava jutting from the vent wall.

At times, spattering along the east lake margin reached heights of 6–9 m (20–30 ft), as shown in this telephoto image.

61g flow coastal breakout still active

The 61g flow breakout that started on February 10 on Pulama Pali was still active today. The flow front (shown here) is approximately 2.3 km (1.4 mi) from the base of the pali and 1.2 km (0.75 mi) from the ocean. The flow front is on the eastern side of the 61g flow field, and is outside the National Park boundary.