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Volcanic Activity at Kilauea
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii’s big island continued releasing a plume at the end of June 2009. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite captured this true-color image on June 29, 2009.
The Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater releases a plume that blows southward, along the left edge of this image. Southeast of the crater, along the coastline, another plume appears. Although smaller than the plume from Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater, this plume is similar in appearance and also results from volcanic activity, where hot lava from Kilauea meets the ocean and sends up steam. The wide band of vapor curving through the middle of the image is a bank of clouds.
According to the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, the day ALI acquired this image magma from Kilauea released gas through the Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater before it erupted through vents to the east. The volcano continued to release elevated amounts of sulfur dioxide, but the amounts released varied throughout the day.
Kilauea is a shield volcano with a low, broad shape that resembles an ancient warrior shield. The volcano overlaps its neighbor, Mauna Loa, another shield volcano to the west. Kilauea is one of Hawaii’s most active volcanoes.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 Team. Caption by Michon Scott.
Acquired June 29, 2009, this true-color image shows a small plume from a crater at Kilauea. A similar plume rises along the coastline where hot lava meets cold ocean water.