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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.

September 28, 2019
HVO rebuilds and relocates Mauna Loa gas monitoring instruments

Left: An HVO scientist connects via computer to an upgraded gas sensor station on Mauna Loa. The old housing for the station is visible in the background. USGS photo by P. Nadeau, 09-17-2019. Right: An HVO field engineer and gas geochemist check the wire and tubing connections in the updated gas sensor equipment. USGS photo by P. Nadeau, 09-17-2019.

Native sulfur crystals often form through the reaction of sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide gases, both of which are degassing from this old fissure on Mauna Loa, making it an ideal site for volcanic gas monitoring. As a result of the degassing, the fissure is lined with yellow sulfur crystals. USGS photo by P. Nadeau, 09-17-2019.
September 8, 2019
Mauna Loa: Early morning view of Moku‘āweoweo

An early morning view looking north across Moku‘āweoweo, Mauna Loa's summit caldera, from a spot near the summit cabin on the volcano's south caldera rim. Frost covered much of the caldera floor that was still shadowed, and weak steaming issued from the usual areas. Overall, there were no significant changes observed at the summit. The 1940 and 1949 cones are visible in the sunlit area at left, and the gap that connects the caldera to South Pit is visible at the far left. Photos by M. Patrick, 09-08-2019.
July 10, 2019
Routine overflight of Mauna Loa summit

This video shows Moku‘āweoweo, the caldera at the summit of Mauna Loa, during a routine overflight. The flight path goes from northeast to southwest, and begins at North Pit crater before crossing over the main caldera floor. In the southwest portion of the caldera floor, the 1940 and 1949 cones can be seen. The video ends as the helicopter flies over South Pit, at the southwest end of the caldera. The video is shown at 3x speed, and was taken with a very wide-angle lens.
April 29, 2019
Timelapse sequence shows a typical day at Mauna Loa's summit

This timelapse sequence of webcam images over a 24-hour period shows a typical day at the summit of Mauna Loa. The webcam (MLcam) is located on the northeast rim of Moku‘āweoweo, Mauna Loa's summit caldera. This sequence begins in the dark, with the moon rising (white dot at left in images), then brightens as the sun rises. Clear skies in the morning shift to cloudy conditions in the afternoon, with a light snowfall creating a white dusting on the caldera floor. USGS webcam imagery, 04/29/2019.
April 24, 2019
Routine visit to Mauna Loa summit

Left: HVO staff visited the summit of Mauna Loa on foot to repair the webcam on April 24. The weather was perfectly clear and views of the caldera floor showed nothing unusual. Right: An HVO geologist walks along the Mauna Loa summit trail, with Mauna Kea visible in the distant background.
April 12, 2019
HVO scientists check out monitoring instruments on Mauna Loa

Left: HVO scientists measure a GPS instrument to ensure its stability during a multi-day deployment in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. In recent weeks, HVO has been working to complete a GPS campaign on Mauna Loa, which involves temporary deployments of high-precision GPS receivers to collect data that will help refine models of the volcano's inflation. Permanent GPS instruments installed on Mauna Loa continuously track deformation between campaign surveys, which are conducted annually. Right: HVO scientists inspect a seismic station on Mauna Loa to evaluate for a possible equipment upgrade in the near future.
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.