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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.

June 21, 2019
HVO geologists make field observations in the lower East Rift Zone

What does a hardened lava flow look like? This photograph is of the frothy top of lava near the fissure 8 vent, on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone. The different sizes and abundance of bubbles in the lava create different textures and colors of the deposits, including the light brown and darker black near the boot (for scale). The shiny smooth surfaces are the interiors of larger bubbles that formed from many smaller bubbles merging together. USGS image by C. Parcheta.
June 20, 2019
Collecting gas samples at Sulphur Banks

HVO gas geochemists periodically collect gas samples at Sulphur Banks, near the Kīlauea Visitor Center, in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Samples are analyzed for bulk chemistry and for helium isotopes. The results are compared to previous measurements to evaluate potential changes in activity at the volcano. In this image, two HVO geologists collect volcanic gas in a specialized glass bottle. USGS image by P. Nadeau.

Left: An HVO geologist removes the sampling tube following the gas collection. Inserting the tube down into the degassing source limits contamination of the volcanic gas sample by atmospheric gases. USGS image by P. Nadeau. Right: Native sulfur crystals precipitate at Sulphur Banks via a chemical reaction between different sulfur-bearing volcanic gases. USGS image by P. Nadeau.

An HVO geologist labels a gas sample collected in a thin copper tube. This specific sample will be analyzed for helium isotopes and must be collected in copper instead of in a glass bottle, as helium can diffuse through glass. USGS image by P. Nadeau.
June 4, 2019
Routine check on fissure 8 and webcam

On June 3, an HVO field geologist visited the site of the fissure 8 webcam on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone. The purpose of the trip was to change batteries in the webcam and make visual observations of fissure 8's cone and interior. No steam or fumes were visible and only a faint smell of sulfur was momentarily detected. The tan and gray rock in the foreground is the exterior surface of a lava levee on the opposite side of the fissure 8 spillway. View is to the southwest. USGS image by C. Parcheta.
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 8, 2019
Equipment check at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō

On May 7, 2019, field crews visited a telemetry hub on the rim of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō to assess damage after a small collapse on May 1. During the overflight, photos and observations were made of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater. The crater walls expose a clear sequence of lava flows and cinder that built the cone in the early 1980s. USGS image by F. Younger.

A view into the center of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Collapses on the crater walls have enlarged sections of the crater and filled the bottom of the crater with rockfall debris. The deepest portion of the crater is about 286 m (938 ft) below the crater floor that existed prior to the collapse on April 30, 2018. Steam rises from the loose rock on the crater floor. USGS image by F. Younger.
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.