Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's mission
HVO monitors the active volcanoes in Hawaii, assesses their hazards, issues warnings, and advances scientific
understanding to reduce impacts of volcanic eruptions.
Update on HVO operations during COVID-19 and Hawaii's Shelter-in-Place Order March 25, 2020
The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) continues to monitor Hawaiian volcanoes and earthquakes and issue regular updates of volcanic activity. Through telework and other adaptations, HVO will maintain monitoring networks and continue analysis of incoming data. Field crews will visit critical stations as needed to maintain required quality and functionality of the network. All work will follow federal government guidelines to ensure public safety and the safety of our staff. The health and safety of our communities and our employees are our highest priorities, and we continue to follow guidance from the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and State and local authorities as we implement teleworking, social distancing and virtual meeting tools. Please follow our work at our website: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/
Summit water depth now available on Kīlauea monitoring web page March 11, 2020
HVO has recently added a "Summit Water Depth" plot to the bottom of the "Past Year Monitoring Data for Kīlauea" web page. Ponded water first appeared at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, in late July 2019, and has slowly deepened since then. HVO scientists measure the water level several times per week using a small laser rangefinder mounted on a tripod.
New USGS Report on Mauna Loa 1880-81 eruption March 04, 2020 "The Lava Flow that Came to Hilo—The 1880–81 Eruption of Mauna Loa Volcano, Island of Hawai‘i," a new USGS Scientific Investigations Report, is now available online. As indicated by the title, during the eruption a lava flow nearly reached Hilo Bay. The report addresses public reactions to the eruption, as well as the government response to it, including the first-known plan to divert a lava flow in Hawai‘i. Read the full report HERE.
USGS releases 2018 eruption datasets March 02, 2020
These data releases relate to three papers about Kīlauea Volcano's 2018 eruption published in the December 2019 issue of Science (Vol 366, Issue 6470):
Whole-rock and glass chemistry of lava samples collected during the 2018 Lower East Rift Zone eruption of Kīlauea: Selected results from analyses of 2018 lava samples, including sampling-site information, eruptive vent/fissure, and sampling descriptions.
New USGS video: "Sampling the water in Halemaumau – Kīlauea Volcano" December 10, 2019
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists discuss sampling the water at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u, Kīlauea Volcano. In this 11-minute USGS video, they describe how an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) was used in October to collect a sample of the water to investigate its source and composition. The video can be viewed here on the USGS YouTube Channel and can be downloaded here from the USGS Multimedia Gallery.
New USGS video: "Water appears in Halemaumau – Kīlauea Volcano" October 10, 2019
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists talk about the water at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u, which first appeared in late July 2019 and continues to rise today. In this 16-minute USGS YouTube video, they address why the water appeared, how it's monitored, and its potential hazards. The video can be viewed here on the USGS YouTube Channel and can be downloaded here from the USGS Multimedia Gallery.
Water pond in Halemaumau August 21, 2019
HVO geophysicist Jim Kauahikaua discusses the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u and what it means in this 19-minute "Island Conversations" interview recently aired on Hawai‘i radio stations. He also talks about the status of both Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, neither of which is erupting. Listen to the full interview at B93/B97 or Big Island Video News, which includes a transcription.
Updated overview of Kīlauea Volcano's 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapse June 10, 2019
A summary chronology and interesting facts about Kīlauea Volcano's 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapse. See overview here...