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Latest Eruption Images From Hawaii

February 8, 2014

The following photos and videos were released by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory(USGS). Note: these photos were not taken in areas currently accessible to the public. (You can visit the official website of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park for current information on the areas of Kilauea that are open to public). Enjoy the photos and videos!

A close-up view of the lava pond in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The lava surface was quietly rising when this photo was taken. When the lava reached a critical level, vigorous spattering would begin at the large area of incandescence seen here. The rim of the lava pond is covered in a thick coating of spatter from similar events. (USGS)

A wide view of activity from the east rift zone to the summit. In the foreground, Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater emits fume from numerous sources on the crater floor. One of these cones hosts a small lava pond, and can be seen at the far right edge of the photo, marked by a small bit of incandescence. Snow-covered Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are in the distance (left and right sides of photo, respectively). In front of Mauna Loa, the plume from the summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu crater can be seen drifting west. (USGS)

A closer view of the lava pond at the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The pond is about 10 m (about 30 ft) wide, and was undergoing cycles of gas pistoning. The lava level would slowly and quietly rise a meter (yard) or more over about five minutes, and vigorous spattering would commence. As the gas was released, the lava level would drop to its previous level and the cycle would begin again. (USGS)

Pāhoehoe breakouts were scattered at the far end of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow today, as far as 6.9 km (4.3 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This photo shows some typical activity on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, with snow-covered Mauna Kea in the distance. (USGS)

CLICK PHOTO TO WATCH MOVIE: This Quicktime movie shows typical activity at the summit lava lake. Spattering at the summit lava lake has been common over the past several years, and today’s winds provided a clear view of the primary spatter area on the lake margin. The lava lake today was about 50 m (160 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The spattering is driven by bursting gas bubbles, with spatter thrown as high as 30 m (100 ft). (USGS)


This image was acquired by the Earth Observing 1 satellite’s Advanced Land Imager sensor on February 2, and shows Kīlauea’s summit and east rift zone. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Active lava is shown by the bright red pixels, present at the summit – in the lava lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater – as well as on the east rift zone on the far end of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow (click “map” link above for the current flow field map, which shows the extent of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow). These active flows are slowly advancing into the forest, and extend to about 6.7 km (4.2 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone. Satellite images such as this help fill in observational gaps between field visits. (USGS)

A view of the summit lava lake at dusk. The lava lake is contained within a crater informally called the “Overlook” crater (due to its position immediately below the former Halemaʻumaʻu visitor overlook), and this crater is set within the larger Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The photo was taken from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The lava lake is about 50 m (160 ft) below the rim of the Overlook crater. The level has dropped slightly over the past day, leaving a black veneer of lava on the crater walls just above the current margin and easily visible in this photograph. In the southeast portion of the lake, a persistent spattering source ejects spatter more than halfway up the Overlook crater walls. (USGS)



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