Kilauea, Hawaii Eruption 2018

Start Date

May 3, 2018

Overview

Explore the new NASA Disasters: Kilauea Airborne Science story map which highlights NASA’s ongoing airborne efforts to understand the volcanic eruption and provide impactful data to responders, by leveraging a high-resolution instrument created to study glaciers.

On May 3rd 2018, the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island erupted from new fissures and sent lava flowing over streets and neighborhoods. As the disaster response on the ground lead by the U.S. Geological Survey kicked into gear, managers from NASA’s Earth Science Disasters Program heard from response agencies and sent out a call to NASA’s own researchers, data managers, and satellite teams: What can we do to help?

Detailed view of the Leilani Estates showing the previous rift and an overlaid infrared image of the new rift (acquired May 14th by the Landsat 8 OLI)

Detailed view of the Leilani Estates showing the previous rift and an overlaid infrared image of the new rift (acquired May 14th by the Landsat 8 OLI)

With an array of sophisticated Earth-observing sensors in orbit and partnerships with space agencies around the globe, NASA had a lot of assets to offer.

“One of the first things emergency responders wanted to know was where the lava was coming out, where are all the fissures,” said J. Carver Struve, NASA emergency management co-lead at NASA Headquarters in Washington who coordinates the organization and distribution of data and satellite imagery from seven NASA centers.

In total, seven instruments onboard five NASA, JAXA, and other partner satellites provided key information on eruption patterns and atmospheric impacts of the Kilauea eruption. These included detection of active fissures, fires, ash and sulfur dioxide plumes, deformation of the ground caused by magma movement, and the height and composition of volcanic plumes. Even astronauts onboard the International Space Station were able to view the eruption, sending digital camera images to the USGS and response community. The European Space Agency and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency also contributed data to the effort.

The VIIRS instrument on NASA's Suomi NPP satellite showed this enhanced nighttime image on May 15th, 2018 superimposed with thermal anomalies (red points)

The VIIRS instrument on the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite showed this enhanced nighttime image on May 15 superimposed with thermal anomalies (red points). 

Feedback from responders in Hawaii using the data has led to the creation of additional data products tailored to their immediate needs. "We're providing actionable scientific products to teams on the ground to support response activities and fill any gaps they may have in their information as the disaster is evolving," said Struve.

In addition to providing data to support recovery and resilience planning, NASA has a long-standing research effort to understand volcanic processes before, during and after eruptions, insights that can also serve as a window into understanding volcanoes on other planets. The current Kilauea eruption is an opportunity to evaluate the performance of instruments to estimate lava flow rates and volume, crucial parameters in volcanic models.

NASA is contributing to the understanding of the eruption using airborne assets. The G-III research aircraft is flying an all-weather, high-resolution instrument called the Glacier and Ice Surface Topography Interferometer (GLISTIN) that was developed to study small changes in ice sheets. The science team, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, previously used GLISTIN to study the surface topography of Kilauea’s East Rift Zone.

A sequence of repeat flights during the current eruption are using GLISTIN to detect changes in Kilauea's topography associated with the new lava flows, with the goal of measuring the erupted volume as a function of time and ultimately the total volume of the event. Such observations are extremely useful to quantitatively evaluate models for evolution of volcanic processes.

Latest Updates

May 6, 2018
SO2 plumes and Thermal Anomalies from Hawaii Eruption; May, 6th 2018
The slide shows a composite of satellite products to highlight plumes of Sulfur Dioxide and Hot spots from Lava erupting from Mt Kilauea and the new Fissures observed since May 3rd and May 4th in the Leilani areas.  The top panel shows a map of SO2 from the Tropomi sensor on the ESA Satellite Sentinel 5P for May 6th. Two main SO2 plumes are seen on the map emerging from the Kilauea crater ( Red triangle) and another source to the East is also visible. They...
May 22, 2018
lava flow dynamics slide 1
These images show lava observations from USGS helicopter thermal imagery and the NASA Landsat 8 and ESA Sentinel 2B satellites. The lava flow speed was calculated for the channel which opened on May 22nd from fissure 6 and 18 which reached the ocean sometime between May 23rd and May 24th. Using two satellite overpasses 12h 37min apart and the position of  the head of the lava flow from LandSat 8 and Sentinel 2B, the inferred mean flow was near 2.6 m/min. ...
May 18, 2018
Sentinel 2 data from June 2nd 2018
June 2nd, 2018: This Sentinel 2B Short Wave IR data shows the progress of the new lava channel toward the Kapoho Bay on June, 2nd around 9pm UTC (11 am HST). At that time, the flow head was around ~ 1500 yards (1.4 km) from the Kapoho Bay and the lastest USGS report (June 4th at 12 am HST) indicates that the Lava was only at 245 Yards (220 m) 37 hours later, giving an average speed of 34 yards/h. USGS indicates that Laze is likely to form at...
May 26, 2018
ALOS-2 interferogram from June 23rd, 2018 acquisition relative to June 9th, 2018.
The Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 (ALOS-2), a Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) satellite, is a follow-on mission from the "DAICHI", which contributed to cartography, regional observation, disaster monitoring, and resource surveys. ALOS-2 will succeed this mission with enhanced capabilities. Specifically, JAXA is conducting research and development activities to improve wide and high-resolution observation technologies developed for DAICHI in order to further fulfill social needs. Each interferometric synthetic aperature radar (InSAR) image, or interferogram, shows the amount...
May 6, 2018
MISR highlights June 23rd 2018
June 23rd, 2018 Volcanic eruptions can generate significant amounts of atmospheric aerosols that often have regional to global impacts. To determine the influence of volcanic eruptions, accurate plume heights are needed, but are difficult to obtain  due to the hazardous nature of such eruptions. Stereo images from NASA’s Multi-Angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) make it possible to map plume heights in ongoing eruptions using parallax in the stereo imagery. We can...
June 6, 2018
VIIRS_Thermal_Anomalies__Kilauea_June08_2018
VIIRS fires and thermal anomalies from 6/8/18, with VIIRS nighttime basemap. VIIRS fires and thermal anomalies from 6/6/18, with VIIRS nighttime basemap. VIIRS fires and thermal anomalies from 6/6/18...
June 11, 2018
JAXA ALOS-2 SARS data
ALOS-2 interferogram comparing data from 1/30/18 vs. 5/8/18.  The above map shows ALOS-2 SAR scenes acquired in January 2018 and May 8, 2018 and shows the early opening of the lower East Rift Zone before May 8. In this first map there is a zone approximately 1.5 km wide where there is little motion of the surface, indicating that the magma injection is primarily around 1-2 km below the surface in this early stage.  In both maps, I...
June 1, 2018
VIIRS I15 Band
The movement of the recent Lava channel from fissure 8 is now reaching far east near the Kapoho crater. on June 1st at 1:55 am (HST), A band of enhanced radiance from the I15 VIIRS channel was consistent with USGS thermal imagery. It shows the rapid progress of the lava front toward the Kapoho crater 6 hours after the USGS Thermal map and indicates that the Lava  intersected road 132 leaving the communities of Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots without road access. USGS also...
May 18, 2018
Repeat flights during the current eruption are using GLISTIN to detect changes in Kilauea's topography associated with new lava flows, with the goal of measuring the erupted volume as a function of time and the total volume of the event. These observations prove extremely useful to model the evolution of these volcanic processes. Overpass Difference Dates: May 18, 2018 - May 19, 2018 This is a topography difference map captured by GLISTIN over the Lower East Rift Zone.  ...
May 16, 2018
VIIRS thermal hotspots from May 22
May 22nd, 2018: VIIRS thermal anomalies continues to locate lava fountains from fissure 6, 19 and 22 flowing toward the ocean though several channels consistent with thermal maps from the USGS on May, 22nd. VIIRS suggests hot spots along the coast consistent with Lava flow entries warming up the ocean in the proximity of the coast. VIIRS nighttime imagery shows the light coming from the lava and reaching saturation levels.  May 21st, 2018:...
May 15, 2018
OMPS SO2 map for the Kilauea eruption from May 22nd, 2018.
May 22nd 2018: OMPS SO2 map for the Kilauea eruption from May 22nd, 2018. The Ozone Mapping Profiling Suite (OMPS) Hyperspectral UV instrument onboard the Suomi NPP (SNPP) satellite observed large extent of the volcanic SO2 clouds emitted from Kilauea eruptions  on May 21-22 on Hawai'i Big island. The estimated SO2 emission rate is still elevated, at ~10-30,000 tons/day (2-6 times the long-term average flux for Kilauea) The SNPP...
May 23, 2018
Detailed view of the Leilani Estates showing the previous rift and an overlaid infrared image of the new rift (acquired May 14th by the Landsat 8 OLI)
Detailed view of the Leilani Estates showing the previous rift and an overlaid infrared image of the new rift (acquired May 14th by the Landsat 8 OLI) Zoomed out image acquired May 14th by the Landsat 8 OLI. Though the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has been erupting continuously...
May 19, 2018
OMI S02 map
Total column amount of volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2) from Kilauea volcanic eruption on May 19 2018 in free troposphere measured by Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on board NASA Aura satellite overlayed on SNPP/VIIRS True Color map. SO2 is criteria pollutant gas, which is harmful to people, plants and animals, causes acid rain and volcanic haze (vog). High resolution VIIRS true color map shows dense volcanic aerosol plume emitted from Kilauea main crater and advected in SW...
May 13, 2018
ISS Georeferenced Digital Camera Images of Kilauea Eruptive Activity 2018
This collection of visible-wavelength (RGB) digital camera images was taken by astronauts onboard the International Space Station at various times on May 6, 12, and 13 2018, then manually georeferenced by members of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at NASA Johnson Space Center. The images provide regional context, and may be useful for visualization of the ongoing event. Higher spatial resolution images may be suitable for spatial...
May 15, 2018
Demographics of the population within the mandatory evacuation zone of the Kilauea eruption.
These two map provide some socioeconomic information on age, structure, and economic status of the population affected by the recent Killauea Volcano eruption. Demographics of the population within the mandatory evacuation zone of the Kilauea eruption. Location of persons living below the poverty level on...
May 5, 2018
Data from the the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) sensor on the Suomi NPP satellite, acquired April 30 - May 5, 2018
Data from the the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) sensor on the Suomi NPP satellite, acquired April 30 - May 5, 2018 Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983, but in late April and early May 2018 the volcanic eruption took a dangerous new turn. During the last week of April, the lava lake at Halema‘uma‘u Overlook crater ...
May 7, 2018
ASTER image acquired May 6 picks up hotspots on the thermal infrared bands – shown in yellow. These hotspots are newly formed fissures and lava flows.
ASTER image acquired May 6 picks up hotspots on the thermal infrared bands – shown in yellow. These hotspots are newly formed fissures and lava flows. Credits: NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team The eruption of Kilauea Volcano on the island of Hawaii triggered a number of gas- and lava-oozing fissures in the East Rift Zone of the volcano. The fissures and high levels of sulfur dioxide gas prompted evacuations in the area. Images taken from the...
May 4, 2018
Sentinel 1B 12-day interferogram: April 23, 2018, 4:15 p.m. UTC to May 5, 2018, 4:15 p.m. UTC
Sentinel 1B image from May 5th, 2018. Sentinel 1B 12-day interferogram: April 23, 2018, 4:15 p.m. UTC to May 5, 2018, 4:15 p.m. UTC The ESA Sentinal 1 mission has produced a series of interferograms for the recent volcanic eruption and earthquake that have occurred at...