Volcano Watch: What does water in Halema‘uma‘u mean?

The slowly deepening pond of water on the floor of Halema‘uma‘u, the first in recorded history, has captured the interest of media and the public, locally and nationally. Many questions are being asked. The two most frequent are where is the water coming from and what is its importance.

Volcano Watch: Water or no water? That is — or was — the question

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists usually base their research on observations, either visual or instrumental. Interpretations come from these observations, so they must be as good as possible. Incorrect observations can lead, and have led, to erroneous interpretations.

Volcano Watch: Mauna Loa’s 1935 lava flow seen in current media coverage of Maunakea

In ongoing media coverage of demonstrations at the base of the Maunakea Access Road, many hundreds of people can be seen standing on a black lava flow that surrounds the Puʻuhuluhulu Native Tree Sanctuary adjacent to Daniel K. Inouye Highway. That same lava flow continues on the other side of the highway, which traverses the saddle between Mauna Loa and Maunakea.

Volcano Watch: Seeing the Earth shake on your screen

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, along with its partners at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and the National Strong-Motion Project, operates a network of seismic monitoring stations on the Island of Hawaii and throughout the state.

Volcano Watch: USGS to survey Kilauea from summit to Kumukahi

Since the end of 2018’s volcanic activity, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists have wanted to resurvey Kilauea Volcano’s ground surface to document changes brought about by the Puna eruption and summit collapse. Doing so would allow us to more accurately answer questions about the total volumes of erupted lava and summit subsidence that occurred last summer.

Volcano Watch: Eruption pause provides opportunity to probe volcanic pollution

The end of Kilauea’s 2018 eruption this past September was accompanied by an enormous decrease in the amount of sulfur dioxide gas (SO2) emitted from the volcano. This led to beautifully clear skies gracing the Island of Hawaii, particularly noticeable on the west side, where the volcanic pollution known as vog chronically collected in past years.