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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 23, 2019
Southern wall of Kīlauea Caldera

This view of the southern wall of Kīlauea's caldera shows a feature known as the "south sulfur bank." A sulfur-rich and highly altered area was present here prior to the summit collapse events in 2018, but more of it was exposed as the crater walls dropped during the collapses. Today the exposure is approximately 100 m (300 ft) tall, whereas the exposed sulfur bank was only a couple of meters (yards) high before 2018. USGS photo by C. Parcheta, 08-22-2019.
Overflight of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on August 22

VIDEO: Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō remains quiet. Clear weather during HVO's August 22 overflight provided good views into the drained crater. Rubble from crater wall collapses has filled in much of the deeper part of the crater, with the bottom now at about 250 meters (820 feet) below the east rim. The curvature of the horizon is caused by the wide-angle view of the camera. USGS video by M. Patrick, 08-22-2019.

An HVO technician (far left) performed routine maintenance on monitoring instruments on Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō during field work yesterday (August 22). USGS photo by C. Parcheta, 08-22-2019.
August 22, 2019
Overflight of Kīlauea summit

VIDEO: Clear weather afforded good views of the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u. No major changes were observed in the pond, but the water continues to slowly rise. The water surface was steaming, and its temperature was approximately 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit). For scale, the pond is about 70 meters (230 feet) long. USGS video by M. Patrick.

Left: This wide angle view from the helicopter overflight shows the deepest part of the Kīlauea caldera with the lower flanks of Mauna Loa visible in the background. The water pond is visible at the bottom of the crater (center of image). USGS photo by C. Parcheta, 08-22-2019. Right: A closer aerial view of the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u. USGS photo by C. Parcheta, 08-22-2019.
HVO overflight of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō

Left: During today's overflight, HVO geologists noticed a recently exposed hole with a smoother slope descending below it in the eastern wall of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. It is unclear if this is simply a rockfall or collapse feature with a debris slope or if it is part of the conduit that fed episode 61 activity. USGS photo by C. Parcheta, 08-22-2019. Right: This telephoto image provides a closer view of the hole in the east wall of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. USGS photo by C. Parcheta, 08-22-2019.
August 19, 2019
Kīlauea summit

Left: This view of the collapse crater at the summit of Kīlauea is from the Keanakāko‘i overlook area in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. In the distance, Mauna Loa, a textbook example of a shield volcano, looms above Kīlauea. USGS photo, 08-19-2019. Right: A closer view of the steep crater walls in Halema‘uma‘u, with visible scars from rock falls and rockslides. A section of Hawai‘i Volcano National Park's Crater Rim Drive that dropped into the crater during the 2018 summit collapse events can be seen in the lower left corner of the photo. USGS photo, 08-19-2019.
August 18, 2019
Halema‘uma‘u water pond on August 18

The water level continues to slowly rise in Halema‘uma‘u, drowning many of the small rocks that were previously exposed in the center of the pond. Ripples across the water surface were evident today. The color of the water ranged from semi-translucent blue to opaque green-yellow in the western part of the pond. USGS photo by M. Patrick, 08-18-2019.
August 17, 2019
Halema‘uma‘u water pond on August 17

The pond within Halema‘uma‘u has notably widened and deepened since August 15, as shown in these two photos taken on August 17 at 10:00 a.m. (right) and August 15 at 11:51 a.m. (left). Note the changes in the neck between the two ends of the pond. USGS photos by D. Swanson.
August 15, 2019
Halema‘uma‘u water pond on August 15

Left: HVO's "Volcano Watch" article today addresses two frequently asked questions about the water pond at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u: where is the water coming from, and what is its importance? The article is posted on HVO's website at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/hvo_volcano_watch.html?vwid=1425. USGS photo by M. Patrick, 08-15-2019. Right: Comparing photos from yesterday and today shows a slight rise in the water level. Unlike yesterday's observations, HVO geologists noted shimmer on the pond today, indicating agitation of the water surface. Steam rising from the pond shifted in the breeze. USGS photo by M. Patrick, 08-15-2019.
August 14, 2019
Halema‘uma‘u water pond on August 14

The pond continues to rise and widen. The pond was milky green in sunlight, with little steam and no agitation of the water surface during HVO's observations today (Aug. 14). Laser rangefinder measurements indicated that the north-south diameter of the pond, perpendicular to the line of sight from HVO's observation site, is 32 m (about 105 ft), and the east-west diameter, along the line of sight, is 71 m (about 233 ft). USGS photo by D. Swanson, 08-14-2019.
Sulfur deposits on Halema‘uma‘u crater walls

Left: Group of sulfur-depositing fumaroles overlook the pond of water in Halema‘uma‘u. USGS photo by D. Swanson, 08-14-2019. Right: Telephoto view of sulfur deposits at one of the several fumaroles on the north wall of Halema‘uma‘u. USGS photo by D. Swanson, 08-14-2019.
August 13, 2019
Comparison of recent photos of water in Halema‘uma‘u

These four images show changes in the area and level of water at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u spanning August 9–13, 2019. Rocks in the center and at the edges of the pond help show the changes in the waterline. USGS photos by M. Patrick.

This video shows a close-up of the water pond at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u on August 13, 2019. Steaming from the water surface shows the shifting winds over the pond.
August 11, 2019
Water at bottom of Halema‘uma‘u continues to rise

The ponded water at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u has continued to slowly rise. This wide view shows much of Halema‘uma‘u and the fumaroles on the upper walls of the pit. USGS photo by M. Patrick, 08-11-2019.

A close up of the ponded water in Halema‘uma‘u. Laser rangefinder measurements on Sunday indicated that the east-west length of the pond (top to bottom in image) was approximately 67 m (220 ft). USGS photo by M. Patrick, 08-11-2019.

This comparison between Saturday, August 10, and Sunday, August 11, shows a slight rise in the water level. The day-to-day rise in water level is smaller than the precision of our laser rangefinder (about 1 meter) at this long distance, so photo comparisons and close inspection of the water level against key rocks is the best tool to see these small changes. Compare the water level at the small rock on the edge of the pond (marked by an arrow in each photo) to note how it has risen. USGS photos by M. Patrick.
August 10, 2019
Slow rise of water at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u continues

Observations this afternoon show that the water level at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u continues to slowly rise, enlarging the area of the pond. Changes in the size and level of water are readily apparent when a telephoto view of the pond today (right) is compared to the view a few days ago (August 7, left). USGS photos by D. Swanson, 08-07-2019 (left) and M. Patrick, 08-10-2019 (right).