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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This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated.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.
A plume of steam and other volcanic gases hangs over Kilauea’s Pu‘u O‘o crater in this natural-color satellite image acquired on January 13, 2010. According to the USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory magma rises to the surface underneath Pu‘u O‘o, where it releases trapped gases (like sulfur dioxide and water vapor) into the atmosphere. Lava then erupts 2 kilometers to the east from vents along the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (upper right).
On January 13th, Pu‘u O‘o had begun a period of inflation. During inflation, the volcano’s surface rises slightly, likely the result of changes in the shallow magma pool beneath Kilauea. Periods of inflation are associated with increased volcanic activity. This image was acquired by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon, using EO-1 ALI data provided by the NASA EO-1 team. Caption by Robert Simmon.
A plume of steam hangs over Kilauea’s Pu‘u O‘o crater in this satellite image.