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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.

May 17, 2019
Clear views of Halema‘uma‘u

Good weather provided clear views of Halema‘uma‘u during a routine visit to the webcam on the northwest rim of the caldera. USGS photo by M. Patrick, 05/17/2019.

An HVO geologist examines the webcam on the northwest rim of the caldera. USGS photo by K. Mulliken, 05/17/2019.
May 7, 2019
Researchers study ash from Kīlauea summit explosions

Scientists use a laser diffraction particle size analyzer to examine fine ash from the 2018 Kīlauea summit explosions. The research examines fine ash (grains 1 mm to 1 micrometer) and investigates the processes of eruption, fragmentation, and respiratory health hazards (PM10, PM2.5). USGS image by A. Van Eaton
May 1, 2019
The last 'hurrah' for a GPS instrument on the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater edge

A small collapse of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater at 6:14 a.m. HST today (May 1, 2019) was the last 'hurrah' for a GPS instrument located on the crater's edge (red circle). This station, designated PUOC, served faithfully throughout Kīlauea's 2018 eruption and was an important source of information on the shallow magma system of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. The station's last reported position showed it moving rapidly to the southeast, consistent with motion into the crater (inset shows data transmissions from April 11 through this morning). Monitoring of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō is currently being accomplished by additional GPS and tilt stations farther from the edge of the crater. The larger equipment installation near the solar panels was not affected by this morning's collapse and continues to function. However, contingency plans are in place in case collapses of the crater edge continue. USGS photo by I. Johanson on March 18, 2019, annotated on May 1, 2019.
April 27, 2019
Webcam check at Halema‘uma‘u

HVO geologists made a routine visit to the webcam that monitors Halema‘uma‘u. No changes were observed in the pit, but views were hampered by poor weather and thick fog.
April 15, 2019
MultiGAS instruments monitor volcanic gases at the summit

Left: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory field crews establish a new MultiGAS volcanic gas monitoring station at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. Currently, sulfur dioxide emission rates from the summit remain low. The station will collect data to track emission rates and concentrations over time. USGS photo by F. Younger. Right: A close-up of the MultiGAS instrument (in tan box), which is placed inside a larger black box to protect the instrument from the weather. The MultiGAS instrument collects an air sample and measures the concentrations of volcanic gases such as sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide, as well as collecting data on environmental parameters like temperature and pressure. The collected data is transmitted by radio to HVO, providing a record of changes in gas concentration that helps in understanding magma depth and the pathways by which gas reaches the surface. USGS photo by F. Younger.
April 8, 2019
Routine overflight of Kīlauea summit

This wide-angle video shows the southwest portion of Kīlauea caldera in the area of Halema‘uma‘u. Faint plumes of volcanic gas are rising from yellow fumaroles on the walls of the deep conical pit. Overall, no significant changes were observed at the summit on today's overflight.

Left: Today, several koa‘e‘kea (white-tailed tropic birds) were seen circling close to the northwest caldera rim at the summit of Kīlauea. Koa‘e‘kea continue to reside in the southwest part of the caldera, despite the dramatic changes in topography at Kīlauea's summit over the past year. Right: Koa‘e‘kea can also be seen circling deep within the collapse pit at Kīlauea's summit. The black arrow in this photo points to one such bird that's flying against the backdrop of a new cliff formed by the 2018 collapse events, providing a sense of scale for the cliff.
April 7, 2019
Volcano Watch: Probing volcanic air pollution

Left: Only small amounts of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) are currently being released from Kīlauea, but those gases chemically react with each other to form the bright yellow sulfur deposits on the crater walls within Halema‘uma‘u. HVO's April 4 Volcano Watch article addresses a study of gas emissions before and after the end of the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption. USGS photo by M. Poland, 03/22/2019. Right: A telephoto view of the sulfur deposits forming on the walls of Halema‘uma‘u. USGS photo by C. Parcheta, 04/02/2019.
April 2, 2019
Scientists watch for changes on and within Kīlauea

Scientists (in orange flight suits) hike toward one of HVO's monitoring stations within Kīlauea caldera. The tripod supports a GPS antenna that provides information on deformation of the volcano. The doghouse-like structure (foreground) houses a gravimeter, which measures changes in subsurface mass over time. Together, these two instruments keep continuous watch on changes in surface deformation and the gravity field, both of which are useful indicators of future magmatic activity at Kīlauea. USGS photo by M. Poland, 03/25/2019.

Left: A scientist takes a gravity reading at a station located on the down-dropped block of Kīlauea caldera, which subsided as an intact structure, while a second gravity instrument (foreground) records data. Many of the preexisting gravity stations, which have been measured for years, survived Kīlauea's 2018 summit collapse. Remeasuring the stations now and comparing the data to previous results could provide information on what's happening below ground within the volcano's shallow magmatic system. USGS photo by M. Poland, 03/25/2019. Right: A closer view of a gravity reading at a station located in the south part of Kīlauea caldera. When repeated over time, gravity measurements can detect changes in subsurface mass that might not be detectable by other monitoring methods. Scientists track this data because the changes could be related to magma movement within the volcano. USGS photo by M. Poland, 03/20/2019.
March 31, 2019
Volcano Watch: "New outcrops make good geology"

It isn't every day that new outcrops are created, and rarer still when they are on the scale of those formed during the faulting of Kīlauea Volcano's caldera floor in summer 2018. This week's "Volcano Watch" talks about deposits and lava flows that are now exposed as a result of the caldera collapses and why these new outcrops are important to scientists. The article is posted on HVO's website at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/hvo_volcano_watch.html?vwid=1405. USGS photo by D. Swanson.
March 29, 2019
LERZ lava flow near Isaac Hale Beach Park

Left: HVO geologists (one shown here for scale) examined Kīlauea Volcano's 2018 lava flow near Isaac Hale Beach Park on March 29. This part of the lower East Rift Zone fissure 8 flow is mostly "toothpaste lava"—an informal name for secondary spiny pāhoehoe lava that oozed out from the stalled primary ‘a‘ā flow that reached the coast. This lobe, classic toothpaste lava, is about 3-4 m (9–13 ft) thick and about 70 m (76–77 yds) long. USGS photo by M. Patrick. Right: A closer view of the "toothpaste lava" (glove for scale) spiny texture, which can result in serious injury if people fall while attempting to walk on it. Because folks have already been hurt, the County advises people to avoid this hazard by staying off the lava flow. USGS photo by M. Patrick.