Volcano Watch: Remote cameras provide new footage of new eruptions : Big Island Now

Volcano Watch: Remote cameras provide new footage of new eruptions : Big Island Now

“Volcano Watch” is a weekly replace of articles and actions written by scientists and associates of the US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Actual-time photos of an blast zone are a significant supply of data for emergency managers, which is why webcams are one of the crucial essential instruments in an blast disaster. HVO has a community of webcams working repeatedly on Mauna Loa and Kīlauea, offering footage of latest eruptions at these volcanoes.

Picture of a webcam deployed to observe the 2022 Northeast Rift Zone eruption of Mauna Loa. USGS picture.

Kīlauea peak started erupting once more on the afternoon of January 5, 2023, and webcams supplied photos of the lava reaching the floor. You may watch this new exercise, confined to the Halema’uma’u crater inside Hawai’i Volcanoes Nationwide Park, by way of one of many many Kīlauea summit webcams obtainable at https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/summit-webcams.

The latest eruption of Mauna Loa has produced spectacular lava fountains and a protracted, meandering lava circulation that threatens the principle freeway on the Island of Hawai’i. Given the potential hazard to infrastructure, scientists on the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) needed to intently monitor the eruption across the clock.

HVO geologists have been on the bottom and within the air daily, intently monitoring the scenario on Mauna Loa. They can not be within the mountaintop blast space across the clock, however webcams can. The latest eruption of Mauna Loa has allowed HVO scientists to check and enhance a few of our distant digicam capabilities.

These webcams proved invaluable in the course of the opening hours of the Mauna Loa eruption to have the ability to pinpoint which rift space the exercise was centered on. HVO scientists used cameras within the Southwest Rift Zone to substantiate that vents weren’t drilled in that a part of the volcano, which is nearer to residential areas.


When an eruption begins, HVO depends on small, moveable webcams to offer 24/7 close-up photos of eruption exercise. These cameras transmit photos over the mobile community and may simply slot in a backpack, so HVO personnel positioned them round just a few hours after the brand new Mauna Loa eruption started.

One other instrument HVO deployed was a live-streaming video digicam to offer steady photos of the sprinkler within the vent. That is helpful for monitoring whether or not blast exercise is growing or slowing down. The blast web site was distant and sustaining an information hyperlink was an enormous problem. But it surely was well worth the work and has confirmed well-liked with volcano watchers all around the world. HVO has discovered helpful classes that ought to assist future booms for stay streaming on this setting.

A number of time-lapse cameras have been additionally deployed to offer detailed documentation of lava fountain heights and lava channel exercise. These time-lapse cameras didn’t transmit their photos in actual time, however recorded the photographs on an information card for later evaluation.

Many of those digicam strategies have been developed and refined in the course of the 2018 Kīlauea eruption, and the teachings discovered there utilized on to the Mauna Loa response. We additionally examined a brand new “video hopping” digicam. In contrast to time-lapse cameras that shoot a single snapshot at intervals, a video interval digicam periodically shoots quick video clips. On our check setup, the digicam captured a 20-second video clip of lava flowing from the higher channel each quarter-hour.

These periodic video clips will probably be helpful for measuring the burst charge over time. Simply as circulation charge is among the most essential variables for understanding the habits of a river, volumetric eruption charge (cubic meters per second or cubic yards) is a key parameter for understanding and predicting lava flows. The best solution to measure the eruption charge of a lava circulation is to estimate the lava velocity within the channel and multiply that by the depth and width of the channel.


From our video hopping clips, we are able to make direct measurements of the lava velocity within the channel. That is completed utilizing a pc to look at the shifting options in a video. In a lava channel, these could also be completely different items of crust carried on the floor.

In essence, this method is the digital cousin of “Poohsticks,” the place Winnie-the-Pooh and his mates watch the sticks circulation down a stream. Within the video clips of the lava channel, the algorithm can monitor hundreds of digital Poohsticks.

Digital camera expertise evolves yearly, and the latest Mauna Loa eruption was a chance for HVO to check and refine our approaches to distant digicam monitoring. There’s nonetheless no substitute for a geologist’s eye, however our Mauna Loa response demonstrated that far-field cameras are a helpful complement to subject geologists throughout eruption crises.

Volcano Occasion Updates

Kīlauea explodes. The USGS Volcano Alert stage is in WATCH. Kīlauea updates are posted day by day at: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/volcano-updates.

Kīlauea volcano started erupting inside Halema’uma’u crater on January 5, 2023, at roughly 16:34 HST. All actions are confined to the Halemaʻumaʻu crater throughout the Hawai’i Volcanoes Nationwide Park. The height slope went from inflation to deflation round 5pm HST on Jan. After the onset of the eruption, the height earthquake exercise was enormously decreased and the eruption tremor (a sign related to fluid motion) resumed. Volcanic gasoline emissions within the eruption space rise. For Kīlauea monitoring information, see https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/past-week-monitoring-data-kilauea.


Mauna Loa isn’t erupting. The USGS Volcano Alert Stage is ADVISE. Mauna Loa updates are launched weekly on Thursdays.

Webcam photos could present intermittently weak, residual incandescent glow in fissure 3 lava circulation of the Northeast Rift Zone, which isn’t lively at night time. Seismicity stays low and floor deformation charges have decreased. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission charges are within the background. For Mauna Loa monitoring information, see Mauna Loa. https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/monitoring-data.

There have been six earthquakes with 3 or extra reported reviews felt within the Hawaiian Islands final week: an M3.3 earthquake at 21:03 on January 3, 4 km (2 mi) southwest of Pāhala at a depth of 35 km (21 mi) YHT, an M1. Earthquake 7 7 km (4 mi) SW of Volcano at 0 km (0 mi) depth January 3 at 4:01 am HST, an M4.0 earthquake 6 km (3 mi) Northwest Volcano 18 km (11 mi) depth , January 3, at 03:31 am HST, an M3.8 earthquake, 46 km (28 mi) W Hawaiian Ocean View, 38 km (23 mi) deep, January 1, 8:34 am HST, 1 km (0 of Pāhala) mile) southwest of Pāhala at a depth of 31 km (19 mi) an M3.0 earthquake at 17:02 HST on December 30 and a 7 km (4 mi) D M3.1 earthquake at a depth of 32 km (20 mi) in Pāhala on December 30 at 7:49′ da HST.

HVO continues to intently monitor the continuing eruption at Kīlauea and Mauna Loa.

Go to HVOs Web site for past “Volcano Watch” articles, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa updates, volcano images, maps, newest earthquake data and extra. Electronic mail inquiries to: [email protected].

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