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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 15, 2020
Wide view of the 2018 summit collapse from the south rim

This panorama shows the view from the south rim of the 2018 collapse at Kīlauea's summit, providing a sense of the expansiveness of the collapse. The yellow fumarolic areas in the center of the photo are on the north wall of Halema‘uma‘u. A small sliver of the rising lake at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u is visible near the bottom of the photo. On the right side of the photo is the downdropped block. The remains of Crater Rim Drive and the Halema‘uma‘u parking lot are visible in the bottom center. Prior to the 2018 collapse, the roadway and parking lot were at approximately the same elevation as where this photo was taken, and they are now 110 m (360 feet) below. The former HVO building and Jaggar Museum (both damaged during 2018) form a small bump on the skyline, just left of the centerline of the photo. USGS photo by M. Patrick.
Continued slow rise of water in Halema‘uma‘u

The water level of the lake at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u continues to slowly rise. No significant changes were observed in the lake appearance during today's field visit. USGS photo by M. Patrick.
May 11, 2020
No significant changes at Kīlauea summit

No major changes were observed today at Kīlauea's summit. The water level within Halema‘uma‘u continues to slowly rise, and the water surface has a sharp color boundary separating the east and west portions of the lake. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

Left: A small rockslide occurred today on the south wall of Halema‘uma‘u, sending boulders into the water at the bottom of the crater. USGS video by M. Patrick. Right: A view from the south rim of Halema‘uma‘u shows a lower collapsed block which has remains of Crater Rim Drive and the Halema‘uma‘u parking lot. The white feature in the lower right is a stop sign that was present at the eastern exit of the parking lot. Near the top of the photo, a lower collapsed block is formed from the remains of the pre-2018 Halema‘uma‘u crater floor. USGS photo taken May 6 by M. Patrick.
May 6, 2020
Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō check-up

Left: On April 16, 2020, an HVO technician inspected a crack that has been widening near a power hub on Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Rockfalls from the north rim of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō (where the hub is located) have caused the rim to recede, and it is now very close to the power/communications hub. Right: HVO technician inspects power/communication station at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on on April 16, 2020. USGS photos by F. Younger.

The PO and PT webcams viewed from the power/communications hub on Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Continued rockfalls from the north rim of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō have destabilized the peak they are perched on, and the cracks behind the cameras are slowing growing wider. USGS photo by F. Younger on April 16, 2020.
May 3, 2020
A look back at Halema‘uma‘u two years ago

The lower East Rift Zone eruption started two years ago, on May 3, 2018. At that time, the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u, at Kīlauea's summit, had just started dropping in response to the changes in the East Rift Zone. Today, two years later, a new lake is present in Halema‘uma‘u, but formed from water. Many of the monitoring techniques remain the same, however. HVO scientists make routine visual observations, measure the lake level with a laser rangefinder, and track the activity 24/7 with webcams and thermal cameras. USGS photos by C. Parcheta and M. Patrick.
Continued slow rise of water in Halema‘uma‘u

Late afternoon mist moving west across the caldera produced a rainbow above Halema‘uma‘u during today's visit to measure the water level. The water continues to slowly rise. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

The lake was more brown in color than the last visit, with a sharp color boundary cutting across the lake. Color variations like this are common. USGS photo by M. Patrick.
April 21, 2020
Continued slow rise of water in Halema‘uma‘u

No major changes have been observed in Kīlauea's summit water pond over the past week. The water level continues to slowly rise. For more information see links and data here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/summit_water_resources.html USGS photo by M. Patrick.

The view from the webcam site shows the western end of the pond (lower right), which often varies from green to brown. Color changes such as these are common. USGS photos by M. Patrick.
April 13, 2020
Changes in color at Kīlauea's summit water pond are common

This compilation shows the appearance of the water pond at Kīlauea's summit over the past two weeks (April 1, April 6, April 9, and April 13). Day to day changes in the color of the pond are common, with portions of the pond shifting from a green hue to brown. A sharp color boundary has been common for several months in the same general area of the pond. Water samples collected in January from different color zones show only slight chemistry differences. USGS photos by M. Patrick.
April 9, 2020
No significant changes at Kīlauea summit

This photo shows the fumarolic area on the south wall of Halema‘uma‘u, a crater within Kīlauea's summit caldera. The area is several tens of meters (yards) wide and individual gas vents can be seen as small black holes surrounded by the yellow sulfur deposits. No major changes have been observed in this area. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

Left: No major changes were observed at Kīlauea summit today (April 9), and the water pond continues its slow rise. The western portion of the pond had a greenish hue today, which is a slight change from the last observation on Monday (April 6), but still within the range of normal variations observed in recent months. USGS photo by M. Patrick. Right: This photo, taken on April 9 from the KWcam webcam site, shows the green color in the western portion of Kīlauea's summit water pond. Compare this view to the April 6 photo, when the western end of the pond was more brown in color. The significance of color differences is not fully understood but variations in color have been commonly observed. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

This photo shows the southern portion of Kīlauea Caldera, and was taken from the water pond observation area on the west caldera rim. The photo gives a sense of the scale of the 2018 collapse. A portion of Crater Rim Drive is present on the lower block, which was originally level with the remainder of Crater Rim Drive visible at the top of the photo. This section of the road dropped approximately 80 meters (260 feet), but other parts of the caldera floor dropped more than 500 meters (1600 feet). The scarp formed during the 2018 collapse sequence. Most of the large Halema‘uma‘u parking lot disintegrated during the 2018 collapses, but a tiny portion remains at the base of the talus slope. USGS photo by M. Patrick.
April 6, 2020
Close monitoring of the summit water pond continues

Clear weather allowed another measurement of Kīlauea's summit water pond to be made this morning. Results show continued slow rise of the water level in Halema‘uma‘u Crater. No major changes were observed. Note the former HVO observation tower can be seen above the geologist's helmet. USGS photo.

Left: Day to day changes in the color of Kīlauea Volcano's summit water pond are common. This morning the pond had a browner hue compared to the previous observation on April 1, when the pond color was slightly more greenish yellow (see photo below). USGS photo by M. Patrick. Right: A close up of a brown portion of the water surface, on the north margin of Kīlauea's summit pond, showing the sharp color boundaries that can occur. Wind at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u Crater produces the ripples seen here, and also causes rapid shifting of the steaming on the water surface. USGS photo by M. Patrick.
April 1, 2020
No significant changes in the summit water pond

No significant changes were observed in the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u Crater, at Kīlauea's summit. The water surface still has an orange-brown hue in the center, with greenish areas on the east and west ends (top and bottom of photo) presumably indicating influx of groundwater. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

Left: A wider view of Halema‘uma‘u, in a rare window of clear weather during the past week. USGS photo by M. Patrick. Right: The Kīlauea summit water pond from the KW webcam site. This angle provides a better view of the greenish zone in the west end of the pond (bottom right of photo). USGS photo by M. Patrick.

Left: A closeup of the northern shoreline of the Kīlauea summit water pond shows how opaque the water is against the rocks. USGS photo by M. Patrick. Right: One of the many koa‘e kea (white-tailed tropicbird) circling Halema‘uma‘u today. The still winds allowed their calls to be heard easily while measuring the pond. USGS photo by M. Patrick.
March 26, 2020
Timelapse of water rising in Halema‘uma‘u

This timelapse sequence shows the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u Crater, at Kīlauea's summit, between November 1, 2019, and March 26, 2020. Over this time the water level rose approximately 14 meters (46 feet), equivalent to 67 cm (about 2 feet) per week. The timelapse shows one image per day (with a few cloudy images removed), and is looped several times.