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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.

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.
April 7, 2019
Volcano Watch: Probing volcanic air pollution

Left: Only small amounts of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) are currently being released from Kīlauea, but those gases chemically react with each other to form the bright yellow sulfur deposits on the crater walls within Halema‘uma‘u. HVO's April 4 Volcano Watch article addresses a study of gas emissions before and after the end of the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption. USGS photo by M. Poland, 03/22/2019. Right: A telephoto view of the sulfur deposits forming on the walls of Halema‘uma‘u. USGS photo by C. Parcheta, 04/02/2019.
April 2, 2019
Scientists watch for changes on and within Kīlauea

Scientists (in orange flight suits) hike toward one of HVO's monitoring stations within Kīlauea caldera. The tripod supports a GPS antenna that provides information on deformation of the volcano. The doghouse-like structure (foreground) houses a gravimeter, which measures changes in subsurface mass over time. Together, these two instruments keep continuous watch on changes in surface deformation and the gravity field, both of which are useful indicators of future magmatic activity at Kīlauea. USGS photo by M. Poland, 03/25/2019.

Left: A scientist takes a gravity reading at a station located on the down-dropped block of Kīlauea caldera, which subsided as an intact structure, while a second gravity instrument (foreground) records data. Many of the preexisting gravity stations, which have been measured for years, survived Kīlauea's 2018 summit collapse. Remeasuring the stations now and comparing the data to previous results could provide information on what's happening below ground within the volcano's shallow magmatic system. USGS photo by M. Poland, 03/25/2019. Right: A closer view of a gravity reading at a station located in the south part of Kīlauea caldera. When repeated over time, gravity measurements can detect changes in subsurface mass that might not be detectable by other monitoring methods. Scientists track this data because the changes could be related to magma movement within the volcano. USGS photo by M. Poland, 03/20/2019.
March 31, 2019
Volcano Watch: "New outcrops make good geology"

It isn't every day that new outcrops are created, and rarer still when they are on the scale of those formed during the faulting of Kīlauea Volcano's caldera floor in summer 2018. This week's "Volcano Watch" talks about deposits and lava flows that are now exposed as a result of the caldera collapses and why these new outcrops are important to scientists. The article is posted on HVO's website at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/hvo_volcano_watch.html?vwid=1405. USGS photo by D. Swanson.
March 29, 2019
LERZ lava flow near Isaac Hale Beach Park

Left: HVO geologists (one shown here for scale) examined Kīlauea Volcano's 2018 lava flow near Isaac Hale Beach Park on March 29. This part of the lower East Rift Zone fissure 8 flow is mostly "toothpaste lava"—an informal name for secondary spiny pāhoehoe lava that oozed out from the stalled primary ‘a‘ā flow that reached the coast. This lobe, classic toothpaste lava, is about 3-4 m (9–13 ft) thick and about 70 m (76–77 yds) long. USGS photo by M. Patrick. Right: A closer view of the "toothpaste lava" (glove for scale) spiny texture, which can result in serious injury if people fall while attempting to walk on it. Because folks have already been hurt, the County advises people to avoid this hazard by staying off the lava flow. USGS photo by M. Patrick.
March 18, 2019
Rockfalls continue to change the shape of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater

This video was taken during a recent overflight of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater on Kīlauea Volcano's middle East Rift Zone. No major changes were observed at the crater, but its shape continues to be altered by small rockfalls within it.

This 3D model of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater was constructed from thermal images taken during a recent helicopter overflight. White areas show warm spots in the crater. Despite the absence of active lava in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, changes at the crater have continued since magma drained from beneath it on April 30, 2018. The shape of the crater continues to change through occasional small collapses within it.

After magma drained from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on April 30, 2018, the crater was roughly 356 m (1168 ft) deep, with the upper part of the crater flared and the deeper part a narrower cylindrical shaft. Collapses on the crater walls have since enlarged sections of the crater and filled the deepest part with rockfall debris, creating a much different crater geometry—as shown in this comparison of models from May 11, 2018, and March 18, 2019. Today, the deepest portion of the crater is 286 m (938 ft).
March 13, 2019
Sulfur deposits forming in the new Halema‘uma‘u crater

Telephoto zoom of the largest sulfur deposit forming on the NE talus wall in Halema‘uma‘u. The view is from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's K3cam. Images can be viewed on HVO's website at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/webcam.html?webcam=K3cam.
Rockfall on Halema‘uma‘u western wall

At 08:23 on March 13, 2019, the upper part of a gully along the western wall of the new Halema‘uma‘u crater failed, producing a rockfall. When geologists arrived at the summit at 09:00, rocks were still falling, and a small dusty plume was visible until 09:08. This rockfall was likely triggered by instability of the talus slope caused by water that has been trickling out of a round hole in the cliff face since July 2018, when the steep gully first formed.
March 6, 2019
Kīlauea summit

Left: USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists installed a new battery in a summit webcam that provides a view into Halema‘uma‘u. Images from K3cam can be viewed on HVO's website at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/webcam.html?webcam=K3cam. USGS photo: J. Kauahikaua, 03 March 2019. Right: View into Halema‘uma‘u from the west rim of Kīlauea's summit caldera. USGS photo: J. Kauahikaua, 03 March 2019
March 3, 2019
Volcano Watch: How fast will this flow cool?

The ‘a‘ā flow shown here was erupted from fissure 8 on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone on June 1, 2018. How do lava flows like this cool and how long does it take? These questions are answered in HVO's Feb. 28, 2019, "Volcano Watch" (https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/hvo_volcano_watch.html?vwid=1401). USGS photo by A. Lerner.
February 23, 2019
Volcano Watch: A new focus on a different volcanic gas

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is exploring the use of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) flights as a means of measuring the ratio of carbon dioxide to sulfur dioxide gases emitted by Kīlauea. The importance of this ratio and what it can reveal about magma within Kīlauea is the topic of HVO's Feb. 21, 2019, "Volcano Watch" article, Low sulfur emissions mean a new focus on a different volcanic gas. Here, a USGS pilot and HVO gas geochemist prepare to conduct a UAS test flight on Kīlauea in November 2018. The UAS was outfitted with a prototype miniaturized multi-gas sensor for the detection of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide gases emitted from the volcano. USGS photo by P. Nadeau.