Lava Flows on the Kilauea’s Pali

Lava Flows on the Kilauea’s Pali
  • Credit:

    NASA images by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon using EO-1 ALI data. Caption by Robert Simmon.

Kilauea continues to earn its reputation as Earth’s most active volcano. Since January 1983, Kilauea has coated much of the southeast coast of Hawaii in fresh lava. The center of the eruption is Pu’u O’o—a crater southeast of Kilauea’s summit. During May and June 2012, fresh lava emerged at Pu’u O’o, then traveled through lava tubes down Kilauea’s steep slopes. The lava emerged on the pali (a Hawaiian word for cliff) and on the coastal plain, further down the mountainside.

This natural-color image was acquired by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite on June 12, 2012. Red areas are hotspots in ALI’s shortwave infrared band. They indicate either fluid or recently hardened lava, still hot enough to “glow” in infrared light. Hotspots are apparent at lava breakouts near the coast, and at the lava lake that currently fills Pu’u O’o.

  1. Reference

  2. USGS. 2012, June 13. Recent Kilauea Status Reports, Updates, and Information Releases. Accessed June 13, 2012.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 720x480
  • JPEG
  • 3571x2381
  • JPEG 2 MB

Note: Often times, due to the size, browsers have a difficult time opening and displaying images. If you experiece an error when clicking on an image link, please try directly downloading the image (using a right click, save as method) to view it locally.


  • Data Date:

    June 12, 2012
  • Visualization Date:

    June 13, 2012
  • Sensor(s):

    EO-1 - ALI
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration