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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.

March 27, 2019
Annual GPS survey on Mauna Loa

A high-precision Global Positioning System (GPS) survey is completed annually on Mauna Loa. This station was occupied for a period of three days to supplement the continuously operating GPS stations on the volcano. A beautiful view of Mauna Kea (in distance) could seen from this site during the GPS survey. USGS photo by R. Kramer.
March 16, 2018
Double rainbow ends in Moku‘āweoweo

On March 14, HVO's webcam [MLcam] captured this image of a double rainbow, which seems to end in Moku‘āweoweo, the caldera at the summit of Mauna Loa. No pots of gold were observed—only patches of snow from recent winter storms.
December 3, 2017
New camera shows snowfall on summit

A new HVO webcam provides improved views of Mauna Loa's summit caldera, Moku‘āweoweo, from the northwest rim. This time-lapse sequence shows a full day on Sunday, Dec. 3, starting and ending at midnight. The full moon and sensitive low-light ability of the camera allow good views throughout the nighttime hours. Morning reveals a fresh blanket of snow, which melts throughout the day. Images captured by this webcam (MLcam) are posted on HVO's website at:
November 15, 2017
Mauna Loa lava flows

The black unit in the foreground is the 1903 fissure vents and flows from the Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. Moving clockwise around the photo, the adjacent set of hills are the 1926 spatter ramparts. Above the 1926 ramparts, the dark colored hills (red interior) are vents for the 1919 ‘Ālika flow. In the middle of the image, the dark flows and those far afield are all from the 1950 eruption of Mauna Loa. The mountain barely visible in the far background is Hualālai.
Pu'u Pohaku‘ohanalei

This aerial view, looking to the northwest, shows Pu‘u Pohaku‘ohanalei on Mauna Loa. This cone is near the 1984 fissure on the volcano's Northeast Rift Zone.
North Pit, Moku‘āweoweo

View of Moku‘āweoweo's North Pit, looking to the west-southwest. The summit of Mauna Loa is the peak visible in the background, slightly left of center. The two linear features in the foreground are ramparts from previous fissure eruptions.
Sulphur Cone, Mauna Loa

Left: This aerial view looking upslope on Mauna Loa shows the expanse of the volcano's upper Southwest Rift Zone. The white and yellow altered ground surface is part of the Sulphur Cone area. Right: A more vertical view of the whole Sulphur Cone area, including a sulphur flow out of one of the cones (yellow bottom of image). The white in the middle of the image is caused by alteration of the rock by volcanic gas.

A routine helicopter overflight today provided good views of Mauna Loa's summit caldera. The video starts from the northeast end of the caldera, near North Pit, and travels southwest. In the southwest portion of the caldera, the prominent 1940 cone is followed by the 1949 cone on the caldera rim. The video ends with the steep walls of South Pit. The video is shown at 2x speed.
May 9, 2017
A clear day provided a stunning view of Mauna Loa's summit

USGS scientists hiked to the summit of Mauna Loa, where they checked on HVO's monitoring instruments and realigned an antenna that allows webcam images of the volcano's summit caldera (shown in this panoramic image) to be posted on the HVO website. Unfortunately, the "Moku‘āweoweo Caldera Multi-Frame" webcam could not be repaired during this summit trek, but the issue with the camera was identified and can now be resolved as soon as possible.
April 13, 2016
Another check of summit cameras

Mauna Loa's summit was cold and clear this morning while HVO scientists performed maintenance on the summit thermal camera and two seismic stations. A few faint steam sources were noted in the usual locations on the caldera floor.
September 19, 2015
Routine check of summit cameras

This panorama is from the north rim of Mauna Loa's summit caldera, Moku‘āweoweo, and shows the thermal camera watching for changes on the caldera floor.

An HVO geologist performs a routine check of the thermal camera and webcam at the summit of Mauna Loa.
September 17, 2015
Mauna Loa - Earthquake and Deformation Data 2010-2015

TOP: Mauna Loa weekly earthquake rates between 2010 and September 17, 2015. Blue bars indicate the number of earthquakes that were located by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory seismic network. Earthquakes of all magnitudes are plotted. Subtle increases in earthquake rates started in mid-2013, while more obvious changes in rates started in 2014. BOTTOM: Change in distance across Mauna Loa's summit caldera between 2010 and September 17, 2015. Blue dots indicate the relative distance between two stations that span the summit caldera of Mauna Loa, shown in the map on the upper left. Sustained extension across the caldera started in mid-2014. This extension is one of the indicators of magma infilling a complex reservoir system beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone.
August 28, 2015
Gas monitoring atop Mauna Loa

As magma rises toward Earth's surface, gases dissolved in the molten rock bubble out and escape through surface vents called fumaroles. HVO established sensors atop Mauna Loa in late 2005 to continuously monitor the concentration of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide gases and fumarole temperature within Moku‘āweoweo, the summit caldera. These sensors have recorded data for nearly 10 years, with some ups and downs in temperatures, but no measured change in the gases. On August 28, HVO gas geochemists went to the monitoring site to replace and recalibrate the gas sensors.
January 28, 2014
Winter storm deposits snow on Mauna Loa's summit

This Quicktime video shows a time-lapse sequence spanning from dawn to dusk on Tuesday, January 28, using images collected by our webcam near the summit of Mauna Loa Volcano (13,680 ft above sea level). The dawn is sunny with clear views across the summit caldera (Moku‘āweoweo), but this clear weather soon deteriorates into thick clouds and steady snowfall as a winter storm arrives. This video shows the potential for rapidly changing weather conditions in Hawai‘i's alpine zones.