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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.

August 13, 2018
Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone

During their overflight this morning, HVO scientists observed no new activity at any of the lower East Rift Zone fissures. At the fissure 8 vent, a "puddle" of sluggish lava remained in the cone. No other incandescent lava was seen along the fissure 8 channel, except at the ocean entry. Some other fissures were steaming, as seen here.

Ocean entries were small and scattered this morning, but lava had made no significant advance toward Isaac Hale Beach Park. The Pohoiki boat ramp remains intact, but access from it to the open bay has been cut off by a sand bar that extends from the jetty to the shore. As molten lava streams into the ocean, it shatters into small glassy fragments, forming black sand that's transported along the coast by longshore currents.
August 12, 2018

Fissure 8 may have slowed down, but HVO scientists are still on the ground in Leilani Estates, monitoring old ground cracks and marking ones that haven't been surveyed before. Monitoring these cracks over multiple days and help detect any new signs of magma movement beneath the ground, one of the indicators that fissures might reactivate. As of Sunday August 12, no unusual changes in cracks were noted.
Kīlauea summit

Left: Kīlauea's Halema‘uma‘u crater was quiet again today, with only degassing from cracks and fumaroles noted by HVO observers. Right: In this zoomed photo, the large slump block on the south side of Halema‘uma‘u still preserves a largely intact short stretch of Crater Rim Drive.
August 11, 2018
Volcanic activity diminished on Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone

The UAS team (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) flew a mission over fissure 8 to assess conditions within the cinder cone. As shown, fissure 8 contains two small ponds deep within its crater. One pond slowly circulates with an incandescent surface while the other pond is stagnant with a crusted top.

The fissure 8 cinder cone is currently about 30 m (100 ft) tall with a very broad base. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions are low, reflecting the diminished activity of the lava ponds in the cone.

Close view of the Pohoiki boat ramp during this morning's overflight. The southern-most flow margin has not advanced significantly toward the Pohoiki boat ramp, but black sand and larger fragments from the entry areas have washed ashore to create a sand bar and beach at this site. Geologists observed several small lava streams trickling into the sea along the souther portion of the lava delta, producing weak laze plumes.
Webcam site on Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō

Geologist hikes to the rim of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō to clean the external housing lenses of two webcams on the rim of the new crater that formed on April 30, 2018.
August 10, 2018
Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) team flew over fissure 8 today, providing this aerial view into the cinder cone. The pond of lava within the vent has receded, and was about 40 m (130 ft) below the highest point on the cinder cone's rim today.
July 5, 2018, collapse event at Kīlauea Volcano's summit

Since August 4, 2018, Kīlauea Volcano's summit activity has diminished dramatically. But between mid-May and early August, 62 collapse events occurred, with each releasing energy equivalent to a magnitude-5+ earthquake and causing extensive ground shaking in the summit area. On July 5, 2018, USGS video cameras stationed at various summit locations happened to record one of the collapse events. The first clip shows the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory entrance sign rattling in response to ground shaking. The second clip shows dramatic movement along the rock wall and a ground crack at the Jaggar Museum Overlook in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park—visual reminders of hazards associated with the collapses. Most of the audio is wind noise, but the sound of rocks falling from steep crater walls within Halema‘uma‘u can also be heard as dust rises from the Kīlauea caldera.
August 9, 2018
Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone

Lava continues to enter the ocean near the Isaac Hale Beach Park on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone. Although lava output from fissure 8 remains low, the ocean entry was still active during HVO's helicopter overflight on August 9, 2018. Numerous small streams of lava were oozing into the ocean near Ahalanui, creating weak plumes of laze. The southern flow margin remained close to the Isaac Hale Beach park, but had not appreciably advanced toward the Pohoiki boat ramp. Lava was also observed entering the ocean along the northern Kapoho lobe.
Kīlauea summit

Left: Clear weather this afternoon afforded a stunning view of Kīlauea's summit, which has been "quiet" since August 4, with no significant subsidence or collapses. The flat ledge shown here (center) is part of the caldera floor that was located west of Halema‘uma‘u. It and other parts of the caldera floor dropped during summit collapse events that occurred between mid-May and early August. Right: As Halema‘uma‘u collapsed, older volcanic deposits (layers of ash and lava flows) and features hidden for decades have been revealed in the crater walls, visible here with the aid of a telephoto lens.
August 8, 2018
Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone

Left: HVO scientists checking on the status of the lower East Rift Zone fissures this morning reported that no audible noise could be heard from the fissure 8 cone (near center). Right: During this morning's field observations, an HVO geologist collected a sample of pāhoehoe from the August 2 overflow of the fissure 8 channel. For more information on what can be learned from lava samples, please read HVO's July 27, 2018, Volcano Watch article (

Left: Aerial view of the fissure 8 cone and spillway captured by Civil Air Patrol during their overflight on August 7, 2018. View is toward the south. Right: This August 7th Civil Air Patrol photo provides a closer view of the fissure 8 cone and the small pond of lava within the vent. The lava is below the level of the spillway that fed the fissure 8 channel from May 27 to August 4, 2018.
Kīlauea Summit

Civil Air Patrol captured this image of Kīlauea's summit yesterday (August 7, 2018), providing a stunning view of Halema‘uma‘u and the collapsed area within the caldera. Prevailing trade winds have blown much of the ash emitted during earlier explosions to the southwest (left), where thin layers of light-colored volcanic ash now blanket the landscape. Plumes of smoke rising from the flank of Mauna Loa were from a brush fire that continues burning today. Mauna Kea is visible on the upper right horizon; the crater visible at bottom center is Keanakāko‘i.
August 7, 2018
Kīlauea summit

Between mid-May and early August, 2018, the depth of Halema‘uma‘u more than tripled and its diameter more than doubled as magma from Kīlauea's shallow summit reservoir moved into the lower East Rift Zone. Evidence of subsidence is visible in this video, taken during an early morning helicopter overflight on August 6, 2018. Cracks and down-dropped blocks of the caldera floor have slumped into Halema‘uma‘u. At the base of the steep crater walls are piles of talus (rock fragments) shaken loose during previous summit collapse events. Areas of persistent steaming within the crater, in the vicinity of the former lava lake, are also visible.
Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone

Left: Early morning overflight view of the small lava pond within the fissure 8 cone. Weak lava bubbling and convection was occurring in the pond, which was around 5-10 m (about 16-33 ft) below the channel spillway. Right: Lava in the fissure 8 channel is now crusted over. Fissure 8 and other inactive fissures are steaming the background, a common sight during early morning overflights (cooler air temperature results in more condensation, making steam more visible).

Active breakouts on the western side of the Ahalanui lobe of the fissure 8 flow near Isaac Hale Beach Park were visible this morning. There was no apparent advance of the flow toward the Pohoiki boat ramp since yeterday.

Cracks parallel to the shoreline are developing in the lava delta near Kapoho and Vacation Lots—a reminder that lava deltas are inherently unstable and prone to collapse, one of the many hazards associated with ocean entries.
August 6, 2018
Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone

Left: This morning's overflight revealed a weak to moderately active pond of lava bubbling within the fissure 8 cone, but no visible supply of lava from fissure 8 into the channel. The perched channel and braided sections downstream were essentially crusted over with some incandescence noted. Active flow in the channel was observed immeidately west Kapoho Crater. Right: During this morning's overflight, HVO geologists observed low levels of lava fountaining within the fissure 8 spatter cone and crusted lava in the spillway and channel downstream. The significance of this change is not yet clear. Eruptions can wax and wane or pause for days to weeks before returning to high levels of lava discharge. New outbreaks in the area of the active fissures could also occur in the near future.

There were small active lava ooze outs at the coast in the vicinity of the former Kapoho Bay and Ahalanui, and the laze plume was greatly diminished. Active lava is close to the Pohoiki boat ramp but did not advanced significantly toward it over the weekend.
Kīlauea summit

Kīlauea's summit remains quiet following the most recent collapse event on August 2 at 11:55 a.m. HST. This quiet is a significant departure from the pattern of episodic seismicity and continuous deformation over the past several months, with very low rates of seismicity continuing today. Deformation at the summit as measured by tiltmeter and GPS instruments slowed and virtually stopped between August 4 and 5. This view of Halema‘uma‘u is toward the southeast.

Left: High-elevation view of Halema‘uma‘u and the larger Kīlauea Crater from this morning's overflight, with Mauna Loa in the background. HVO and NPS Jaggar Museum are located on bluffs at the far side of the crater in the center of the view. Note the smoke plume from a still-burning brushfire on the lower flank of Mauna Loa. Right: This photo shows a portion of the Crater Rim Drive that led from the east to the Halema‘uma‘u parking area, which slid into the growing crater weeks ago. Note a slump block located below and near where the road ends at Halema‘uma‘u. The September 1982 lava flow can be seen in the top of the photograph.
August 5, 2018
Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone

Left: View of the fissure 8 cone and spillway from HVO's overflight early this morning, during which geologists observed eruptive activity that was much less vigorous than in past days. Right: Looking more directly into the fissure 8 vent this morning, the inner walls of the cone and lava surface could be seen. The level of lava within the vent and spillway (left) were down compared to yesterday. A dark crust, which forms as the lava surface cools, had formed on the lava with the spillway.

Left: An ‘a‘ā flow on the western flank of Halekamahina, a cone west of Kapoho Crater. Right: Lava breakouts on the north and east sides of Kapoho Crater (upper right) were also observed during this morning's overflight. This view is from the north side of the crater; Government Beach Road visible at far left.

Left: Incandescent lava remained visible in a section of the fissure 8 channel west of Kapoho Crater (just visible at far left). This view is looking south toward the ocean; the laze plume rising from the ocean entry can be seen in the far distance. Right: Closer view of the open channel west of Kapoho Crater. According to geologists flying over the area, the flow appeared be the result of draining from the upslope channel; no discernible movement was observed.

Left: A diffuse laze plume afforded a clear view of Isaac Hale Beach Park and the ocean entry, which was being fed across a broad front by viscous pāhoehoe. Lava was oozing laterally, but was still about 70 m (230 ft) southeast of the Pohoiki boat ramp as of this morning. Right: Closer view of the viscous pāhoehoe flow entering the ocean near Isaac Hale Beach Park this morning.

Another view of Isaac Hale Beach Park and the Pohoiki boat ramp from this morning's overflight. The active ocean entry and laze plume can be seen at lower left.
Kīlauea summit

Here's another "then and now" look at Halema‘uma‘u (view is to north). At left, Halema‘uma‘u, as we once knew it, and the active lava lake within the crater are visible on April 13, 2018. At right is a comparable viewshed captured on July 28, 2018, following recent collapses of the crater. The Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Jaggar Museum and USGS-HVO can be seen perched on the caldera rim (middle right) with the slopes of Mauna Loa in the background.

This animated GIF shows a sequence of radar amplitude images that were acquired by the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana CosmoSkyMed satellite system. The images illustrate changes to the caldera area of Kīlauea Volcano that occurred between May 5 and August 5. The satellite transmits a radar signal at the surface and measures the strength of the return, with bright areas indicating a strong return and dark areas a weak return. Strong returns indicate rough surfaces or slopes that point back at the radar, while weak returns come from smooth surfaces or slopes angled away from the radar. Over time, expansion of the summit eruptive vent within Halema‘uma‘u and the widening of Halema‘uma‘u crater are obvious. Starting in late May, the development of several cracks outside Halema‘uma‘u is clear, and inward slumping of a large portion of the western, southwestern, and northern crater rim begins. Much of this motion appears to be coincident with more than 60 collapse-explosion events that have taken place on a near daily basis since early June. The most recent scenes, acquired on August 1, 2, and 5, show little overall motion, which is consistent with the slowing of deformation in the summit area over the past few days.
August 4, 2018
Kīlauea summit

Misty weather is coming and going this morning at the summit of Kīlauea. A break in the mist allowed this clear view of Halema‘uma‘u from the northeast rim of the caldera, from which talus (rock fragments) piled at the base of the steep crater walls can be seen. With each summit collapse. rocks in the crater walls are shaken loose, widening the crater. Since May 16, 2018, the crater depth has more than tripled and the diameter has more than doubled.
Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone

During HVO's early morning overflight today, lava was moving sluggishly through the fissure 8 channel (from upper right to lower left in this view), well within the banks of the perched channel. The fissure 8 vent can be seen in the distance (area of blue-tinted volcanic gas emissions).

Left: Multiple streams of lava were oozing into the sea along the southern lobe of the active ocean entry near Isaac Hale Park this morning. Right: A slightly different view of the southernmost lobe of ocean entry lava streams. The roof of the house at Isaac Hale Beach Park can be seen through the laze plume.