How Do HVO Geologists Track Lava Flows and Lava Lakes

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park


Kīlauea is home to two remarkably long eruptions. Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō has erupted lava flows for more than three decades. At the summit of Kīlauea, Halema‘uma‘u has fed a lava lake for over eight years. Monitoring each of these eruptions presents unique challenges. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Matt Patrick explains the toolkit he uses to map lava flows and measure lava lakes, and describes how scientists continuously improve their methods of tracking volcanic activity.