Link to USGS home page.
USGS HOME
Contact USGS

Facebook Icon Twitter Icon
  • Assess
  • Prepare
  • Forecast
  • |
  • Activity
  • Products
  • Observatories
  • About

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.

October 17, 2019
Great Hawaii ShakeOut

Left: HVO staff practiced "Drop, Cover, and Hold on" during today's Great Hawaii ShakeOut earthquake drill (https://www.shakeout.org/hawaii/). During the next earthquake, you may only have seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down or something falls on you. With practice, you will be ready to quickly respond. Right: How to protect yourself when the next earthquake strikes Hawaii: DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows). HOLD ON until shaking stops. For more info, please visit https://www.shakeout.org/dropcoverholdon/. USGS photos by B. Shiro.
October 10, 2019
New USGS video posted online:  "Water appears in Halema‘uma‘u"

This photo of the Halema‘uma‘u water pond was taken by D. Swanson on October 7. In a new video posted to USGS YouTube today, HVO scientists talk about why water appeared at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u, how HVO is monitoring the rising water level, and the potential hazards of water in the crater. The 16-minute video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLpBMa1576I — or it can be downloaded from the USGS Multimedia Gallery at https://www.usgs.gov/media/videos/water-appears-halema-uma-u-k-lauea-volcano.
September 27, 2019
Continued slow rise of water at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u

Left: On a beautiful and clear day at the summit of Kīlauea, no changes were observed in the water pond within Halema‘uma‘u. The pond of water continues to slowly rise. USGS photo by K. Mulliken, 09-27-2019. Right: Telephoto view of the water pond within Halema‘uma‘u at Kīlauea's summit. Little steam was emanating from the hot crater lake, likely as a result of the warm air temperature on this sunny day. USGS photo by K. Mulliken, 09-27-2019.
September 25, 2019
Halema‘uma‘u water pond on September 25—two months and still rising

ANIMATED GIF: As of today, September 25, it has been two months since water was first spotted at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u, 600 m (about 2000 ft) below the western caldera rim at the summit of Kīlauea. This animated image file (GIF) includes a series of telephoto images in a continuous loop showing the growth of the pond between August 7 and September 24, 2019. The apparent movement of the rocky ledge (lower left corner of images) is not real—the shift is caused by slightly different camera angles on different days. USGS GIF by L. DeSmither.

Left: A telephoto view of the water pond on September 24. The pond is now about the size of a football field, including end zones—or about 110 m (360 ft) long and just over 50 m (164 ft) wide. When the water was first observed on July 25, 2019, the pond was less than 10 m (33 ft) wide. USGS photo by M. Patrick, 09-24-2019. Right: The water pond within Halema‘uma‘u continues to slowly rise. Recent laser rangefinder measurements indicate that the water is now roughly 10 m (33 ft) deep. How much deeper could it get? Water table measurements at the Keller Well suggest that the pond could possibly rise another 65 m (210 ft). Scalding hot temperatures of the water surface have remained fairly consistent at 70 degrees Celsius (around 160 degrees Fahrenheit). USGS photo by M. Patrick, 09-24-2019.
September 24, 2019
HVO measures water table at Keller Well

Left: HVO field engineers and staff conducted quarterly work at a deep borehole, known as the Keller Well, at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano today (Sept. 24). They lowered a sensor into the well to measure the distance between the ground surface and the top of the water table, which was 505 m (1657 ft) below the ground surface today. With a water pond at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u, continued measurements at the Keller Well site provide important data on how the local water table is recharging the summit area following the 2018 collapse events. USGS photo by S. Warren, 09-24-2019. Right: The HVO team also collected a sample of water from the well. Chemical analyses of the water will be conducted to determine and track changes in its composition. For more information about the Keller Well, please see HVO's Dec. 20, 2018, "Volcano Watch" article: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/hvo_volcano_watch.html?vwid=1396. USGS photo by S. Warren, 09-24-2019.
September 22, 2019
Another timelapse view of the summit water pond

This timelapse video covers about 30 minutes of activity at the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea. Water appears to be flowing into the pond from several locations, including the southern boundary (right side in this image). A small amount of material is also seen floating on the surface at the eastern end of the pond (top of image). The video is shown twice. USGS video by M. Patrick.
September 20, 2019
Video of circulation in the Halema‘uma‘u water pond

VIDEO: This time-lapse video shows circulation in the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u over a period of about 25 minutes. There appears to be an influx of water along the southern (right) shoreline. A broader eastward flow of water (toward top of image) is evident. The video is shown twice. USGS video.
September 17, 2019
Stable temperatures at Halema‘uma‘u water pond

The thermal camera today showed surface temperatures on the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u of approximately 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit), similar to previous observations. The water level continues to slowly rise, but there were no significant changes observed during today's visit. USGS images by M. Patrick, 09-17-2019.

VIDEO: Shown at 30x speed, this video highlights changing activity on the surface of the water pond. Steam wafting above the pond shifts in the wind, and circulation of the water is evident in areas of sharp color boundaries. USGS video by M. Patrick, 09-17-2019.
September 14, 2019
Halema‘uma‘u water pond on September 14

No major changes were observed at the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u today (Sept. 14). The water level continues to slowly rise, gradually enlarging the pond surface area. USGS photo by M. Patrick, 09-14-2019.

Images taken on September 10 and 14 show the slight rise in water level, most obvious by comparing the rock marked with an arrow in each photo. USGS photos by M. Patrick.
September 10, 2019
Halema‘uma‘u water pond on September 10

No major changes were observed at the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u during this morning's visit. The water surface continues to slowly rise, as shown by comparing the waterline against rocks in today's and yesterday's photos. USGS photo by M. Patrick, 09-10-2019.

Left: This photo was taken just a few minutes after the image above. With a slight shift in the direction steam wafted above the water and a different camera setting, variations in the color of the water surface became more obvious. USGS photo by M. Patrick, 09-10-2019. Right: This telephoto image shows the color variation in the eastern portion of the pond, with a sharp boundary between yellow and greenish-blue areas in the water. USGS photo by M. Patrick, 09-10-2019.