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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 26, 2017
Firehose activity briefly returns at the Kamokuna ocean entry

Yesterday (Sunday, June 25) between 11:39 and 11:44 HST, firehose activity started at the ocean entry and continued for less than 10 minutes. A USGS time-lapse camera, which takes a photo every 5 minutes, captured this image at 11:44 and by 11:49 the firehose was replaced by a lava channel on the delta. The cause of the short-lived firehose activity was not visible from the time-lapse camera, but was likely the result of a failure of the 61g tube casing where it exits the old sea cliff.

This photo from June 25 shows the established lava channel at 6:49 pm HST, hours after the firehose activity. Today (June 26) HVO observers did not see any active surface breakouts on the delta and the channel has tubed over, but some narrow streams of lava were spilling into the ocean. The delta had lost some small chunks, but there was no evidence seen of a large-scale delta collapse.
June 22, 2017
Thermal image shows crack across lava delta

Thermal images collected during the overflight on Wednesday, June 21, show a hot crack spanning much of the width of the lava delta at the Kamokuna ocean entry. These cracks are common on lava deltas, and suggest sagging and instability at the front of the delta.
June 21, 2017
Active surface breakouts continue near the 61g vent

On June 13 at about 6:00 am, there was a new pāhoehoe breakout along the episode 61g tube system approximately 1.1 km (0.7 miles) from the vent. Today (June 21), geologists visiting the site found that the ground had been cracked and uplifted about 2 m (6.6 feet) where the breakout originated (center). This is the closest active breakout to Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and the 61g vent, and also the largest on the flow field. Smaller scattered surface flows from the March 5 breakout remain active, but all lava flow activity is on the upper flow field above the pali.

The ocean entry remains active and continues to increase the size of the Kamokuna lava delta. Today, activity was concentrated towards the western side of the delta (left center), and building outward in a narrow lobe. Surface flows on the delta over the past few weeks have covered most of the delta with new lava.
June 16, 2017
No visible breakouts on the coastal plain

The scattered breakouts that have been active on the steep part of the pali and at the base over the past few weeks were not visible this afternoon. The recent surface breakouts (pictured) were still warm, but no longer actively flowing.

Left: The episode 61g flow continues to enter the ocean and build the delta at the Kamokuna ocean entry. Small streams of lava along the front of the delta interact with the ocean and produce a large steam plume and occasional littoral bursts. There were no large delta cracks visible, but a surface flow covering part of the delta (silver lava) could have covered any in the area. Right: Photo of a crack (center right) in the sea cliff inland of the ocean entry.
June 4, 2017
Different textures on the surface of the summit lava lake

The activity in the summit lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u has been typical in recent weeks, with the normal fluctuations in lava level. The low sun angle during the late afternoon provided good views of the different surface textures on the lake.

Left: Subtle folds are common on the lake surface, suggesting that the crust on the lake surface is thin and flexible. In addition, small "blisters" cover large portions of the lake surface. HVO geologists have seen these blisters form, and they appear to be small bubbles that rise and push up the thin crust, without breaking it. The field of view in this photo is roughly 50 meters (yards) wide. Right: A clearer picture of the folding on the lake surface, which resemble folds in a piece of thin fabric. The field of view in this photo is roughly 50 meters (yards) wide.

A view of the northern Overlook crater wall, through passing fume. The lake surface (lower left in photo) was about 22 meters (72 feet) below the crater rim (upper right in photo). The uppermost section of the crater wall is formed by stacks of thin overflows from mid-2015. The main section of the wall, with a light pink color here, is the older portions of the Halema‘uma‘u Crater floor, formed from lava flows that filled the crater decades ago. At the base of the wall, spattering from the lake has deposited a thin black veneer of lava on the crater wall. Sometimes these spatter deposits built out small ledges, and form bulbous protrusions (center of photo) when the lake level drops.
May 31, 2017
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Jaggar Museum

Mauna Loa looms in the background behind the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Jaggar Museum complex, perched at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. The cliff in the foreground is Kīlauea's caldera rim.
Halema‘uma‘u lava lake

Left: View looking southeast along the long axis of the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u at Kīlauea's summit. The lava lake is about 260 m (285 yd) long and 200 m (220 yd) wide. Right: View looking northeast at Kīlauea's summit lava lake.
The Kamokuna ocean entry and lava delta

Left: Kīlauea Volcano's Kamokuna ocean entry is fed by lava that erupts from the east flank of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō cone, visible on the skyline at upper left. It travels from the vent to the ocean via a lava tube, marked in places by fume emanating from the tube roof. Right: Steep aerial view of the Kamokuna lava delta.

View of the Kamokuna lava delta and the lava structure encasing the lava stream where it emerges from the mouth of the lava tube in the face of the sea cliff.

This video clip shows HVO geologist Tim Orr sampling lava from an active pāhoehoe breakout on the episode 61g lava flow. The chemistry of these lava samples provides information on the magma plumbing system. Sampling has been a regular part of monitoring Kīlauea Volcano's ongoing Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō eruption.
May 28, 2017
Spattering on summit lava lake and Pele's hair around Halema‘uma‘u

Left: Spattering on the summit lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u is ever-changing, but on Sunday (May 28), two sources could be seen—one on the north side of the lake (bright area at left) and one on the southeast side (right). A close-up view of the southeast spattering source is shown in the adjacent photo. Right: Spattering is common in the summit lava lake, and this photo shows spattering in the southeast corner of the lake. Spatter accumulation on the lake margins has built up several small peninsulas that extend a few meters (yards) out from the crater wall.

Numerous fumaroles are present near the rim of Halema‘uma‘u Crater, and are evident by the bright yellow sulfur deposits. In recent years these fumaroles have been covered by a thick carpet of Pele's hair produced by the lava lake. Moisture emitted by the fumaroles collects as tiny water droplets on the fine hairs, resembling a thin dusting of snow.
May 27, 2017
Sluggish breakouts near the base of the pali

Sluggish pāhoehoe breakouts remain active on the coastal plain, near the base of the pali. Over the past week, these breakouts have not advanced any significant distance. There were also several small lava channels on the steep section of the pali today (May 27).

A close up of one of the typical pāhoehoe toes.
May 23, 2017
61g flow is active at the Kamokuna ocean entry and at the base of the pali

The lava delta at Kīlauea Volcano's Kamokuna ocean entry continues to grow. On May 23, activity was concentrated near the southeastern tip of the delta, creating a thick steam plume that afforded only occasional glimpses of lava entering the ocean. Small littoral bursts were common as molten lava interacted with the cool seawater. Many narrow cracks parallel to the sea cliff could be seen on the delta surface.

Left: A telephoto view of where the 61g lava tube exits the sea cliff. The upper portion of the firehose flow, visible from early January to late March 2017, is now crusted over, but lava within the tube continues to feed the growing lava delta. Right: Zooming in even closer, the top of the crusted-over firehose flow can be seen. Cracks in the hardened tube surface reveal incandescent lava flowing though the tube. Fume from the degassing lava also escapes through these cracks.

The March 5 breakout of the 61g flow is producing active surface flows on and at the base of the pali (cliff). The slow-moving pāhoehoe flow front (foreground) was approximately 400 meters (yards) beyond the base of the pali on the afternoon of May 23. An ‘a‘ā channel (center) made its way down the pali, along with other small breakouts and channels of ‘a‘ā and pāhoehoe scattered to the west of the main 61g lava tube (visible degassing at upper right).
May 7, 2017
Lava delta at Kamokuna ocean entry is rebuilding

Left: The lava delta at Kīlauea Volcano's Kamokuna ocean entry is quickly rebuilding after the collapse on May 3, when much of the previous delta collapsed into the sea. A robust steam plume obscured the seaward section of the delta today (May 7). Right: A telephoto lens provided a close-up view of the seaward edge of the Kamokuna lava delta, where multiple, small streams of lava were entering the ocean today. Fragments of hot lava can be seen floating in the water.