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Photo & Video Chronology

USGS-HVO photos and videos are in the public domain and can be freely downloaded from the HVO website (click on a photo to open a full resolution copy). Please credit "U.S. Geological Survey" for any imagery used.

November 30, 2018
Routine crack check by geologists in the lower East Rift Zone

Left: USGS scientists continue to monitor some of the cracks in the lower East Rift Zone to check for any significant changes. This scientist is using an infrared thermometer to record the temperature within the ground cracks. Right: USGS scientist measures and documents the width of a ground crack. Other than temperature and crack width measurements, geologists also note any visual or audible changes such as steam and water boiling heard in the hottest cracks.
November 26, 2018
USGS scientists continue to monitor Kīlauea

Left: USGS scientists use an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS, or drone) to fly a MultiGas instrument along Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone to determine concentrations of volcanic gases in small plumes rising from the now inactive fissures. The UAS is barely visible in the distance, just to the upper left of fissure 21 (larger cone at right). Right: A close-up of the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) used by USGS scientists to measure volcanic gases in remote areas of Kīlauea. The fissure 21 cone is visible in the far right background.
November 7, 2018
No changes observed in the Lower East Rift Zone

No significant changes were observed on today's overflight of the Lower East Rift Zone. This photo, looking north, shows the eastern portion of Leilani Estates subdivision, now covered by lava. The Fissure 8 cone, which was active for two months, is visible near the center of the photo, with its large drained channel extending north. White steam originates from residual heat in the fissure system.

This photo shows the widest portion of the Fissure 8 channel, at roughly 425 meters (0.26 miles) across.

A large black sand beach remains in front of the Pohoiki boat ramp. Roadway construction over the recent lava flows can be seen at the top of the image.
November 6, 2018
Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō remains quiet

Clear conditions provided good views into the deep crater at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. No active lava or signs of increased activity were observed here. The crater walls expose a clear sequence of lava flows and cinder that built the cone in the early 1980s.

This 3D model of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō's crater was created from thermal images during an overflight of the cone. The deepest portion of the crater is about 320 meters (1050 feet) below the crater floor that existed prior to April 30.
Routine overflight of the Lower East Rift Zone

Fissure 22 was active in late May near Lanipuna Gardens subdivision, which is now mostly buried by lava flows. During the later stages of Fissure 22 activity, small strombolian-style explosions built a symmetric cinder cone over the vent.
October 30, 2018
Kīlauea Volcano's summit

This August 11, 2018, aerial photomosaic of Kīlauea Volcano's south caldera shows how the summit was changed by the collapse events that occurred between the end of May and August 2. The bright white line circles the outline of Halema‘uma‘u as it was before the onset of the 2018 collapses. Closer views of the fuming spots within the collapsed area are shown in the two photos posted below. Note in the lower third of this image the section of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park's Crater Rim Drive (light gray line) that dropped into the crater during the collapse events.

Left: Kīlauea Volcano's summit, as viewed from the southwest, shows the collapsed area of Halema‘uma‘u and the adjacent caldera floor. A section of Crater Rim Drive preserved on a down-dropped block is visible at the far right. Volcanic gases rising from magma stored beneath the summit continue to escape to the surface, as they have for as long as Kīlauea has existed, resulting in deposits of sulfur on the crater walls. Right: The emission of volcanic gases, including sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, is not unusual at the summit of Kīlauea. However, sulfur dioxide gas emission rates are now lower than they have been since before 1983, with about 50 tonnes/day measured at the summit of the volcano on the day of this photo (October 24). Even with low emissions, enough gas reaches the surface to produce yellow deposits of native sulfur on the crater walls, as seen here.
October 21, 2018
Great Hawaii ShakeOut

On October 18 at 10:18 a.m. HST, scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory practiced "Drop, Cover, Hold on!"—the best actions to take during an earthquake to prevent injuries—during the Great Hawaii ShakeOut. Since 1868, more than 30 magnitude-6.0 or greater earthquakes have rattled the Hawaiian Islands—most recently on May 4, 2018 (M6.9)—so it's important for Hawaii residents to know (and practice) what to do when the ground shakes. The Great Hawaii ShakeOut is an annual earthquake awareness and preparedness event held on the third Thursday of October. For more info on earthquake safety, please visit
October 15, 2018
Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea as seen from Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone

Low sulfur dioxide gas emissions on Kīlauea have resulted in greatly diminished vog (volcanic air pollution) in Hawaii, giving rise to spectacular views on the island. Here, looking across the field of lava erupted from Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone this past summer, the shield-shaped profiles of Mauna Loa (left) and Mauna Kea (right) can be clearly seen in the far distance.
October 4, 2018
No significant changes at Fissure 8 or Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō

This wide-angle photo shows the fissure 8 cone (center of image) and the long line of steaming areas extending uprift (west), towards the upper right corner of the image. No significant change was observed at fissure 8 during today's overflight. Thermal images (see inset lower left) show no signs of lava within the cone - the small collapse pit in the center of the crater floor is cold.

Left: A thick plume obscured views into Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō's crater with the naked eye today, but thermal images were able to see into the deep parts of the crater. The bottom of the crater appears to still be covered in collapse rubble - there were no signs of any hot material. Right: A large black sand beach remains at Pohoiki. The sand continues to block access to the boat ramp, which is just to the right of the center of the photo. The thick fissure 8 lava flows can be seen in the lower left portion of the image.
September 28, 2018
Before and after satellite images of Leilani Estates subdivision

This comparison shows satellite images of Leilani Estates subdivision before and after. The image on the right, collected in early September 2018, shows that the eastern portion of the subdivision has been covered by lava. The fissure 8 lava channel runs northeast from the fissure 8 cone at the start of the channel. Note also the brown areas of dead vegetation south of the lava flow. Highway 130 runs north-south along the left side of the images.
Before and after satellite images of the Fissure 8 area in Leilani Estates

A close up comparison of the fissure 8 area in Leilani Estates subdivision. Leilani Avenue runs right-left (east-west) through the center of the images. On the right side, the crater within the fissure 8 cone is visible. The fissure 8 lava channel extends north from the cone. For a map of the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption fissures and surrounding area, see the HVO web site:
Before and after satellite images of Lanipuna Gardens subdivision

This comparison shows before and after images in the area of Lanipuna Gardens subdivision. Pohoiki Road runs left to right through the center of the image. The Puna Geothermal Ventures site is in the upper left portion of the image. For a map of the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption fissures and surrounding area, see the HVO web site:
Before and after satellite images of Kapoho

This comparison shows the area of Kapoho before and after. Kapoho Crater is in the left portion of the image. Lava filled much of the crater, including the small nested crater that contained Green Lake. The Kapoho Beach Lots subdivision is in the right side of the image, north of Kapoho Bay, and was completely covered by the fissure 8 lava flow. Vacationland Hawai‘i, in the lower right corner of the image, was also completely covered, along with the adjacent tide pools. Kapoho Farm Lots, near the center of the image, is also beneath the flow. For a map of the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption fissures and surrounding area, see the HVO web site:
September 11, 2018
Kīlauea summit

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) team completed its mission at Kīlauea Volcano's summit, mapping changes within the caldera. Since August 4, 2018, the number of earthquakes at the summit have decreased and the rate of subsidence has stabilized. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates at the summit is less than 200 tonnes/day, which is lower than at any time since late 2007. Limited UAS flights into this hazardous area are conducted with permission and coordination with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Scientists examine the UAS data in detail to understand how the collapse area is evolving and to assess hazards at Kīlauea's summit, all of which is shared with the National Park Service and emergency managers.