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Plume from Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u Crater
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated.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.
A faint plume blew southward from the Halema‘uma‘u Overlook vent on the Kilauea Volcano on August 19, 2009. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite captured this true-color image the same day. The volcanic vapor appears ghostly blue-gray, and blows toward the south-southwest from the edge of the crater. Around the crater, the ground is largely devoid of vegetation, instead showing bare rocks of varying shades of brown. Farther east, however, deep green vegetation covers the surface.
According to bulletins issued by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on August 19 and 20, 2009, Kilauea had a heightened level of activity, placing it on a watch by the U.S. Geological Survey. The Halema‘uma‘u vent glowed overnight on August 19-20, and sulfur dioxide emissions were elevated.
Kilauea is a shield volcano with a low, broad shape resembling an ancient warrior shield. It overlaps neighboring 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 August 19, 2009, this true-color image shows a ghostly gray-blue plume blowing from the Halema'uma'u Overlook vent on the Kilauea Volcano. While the land surface around the vent is devoid of vegetation, plants apparently thrive to the east.