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Kīlauea Eruption First Time Feds Use Drones in Response

March 6, 2019, 6:31 PM HST
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The 2018 Kīlauea eruption marked the first time the federal government used Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to assist in an eruption response in the United States. UAS provided the ability to survey areas otherwise inaccessible or too hazardous for field crews or manned aircraft, collect multiple types of data, and provide 24/7 real-time situational awareness.

This video is a short compilation of UAS footage taken at Kīlauea Volcano’s summit and lower East Rift Zone between May 21, 2018, and November 8, 2018.


At present, Kīlauea Volcano is not erupting. Low rates of seismicity continue across the volcano, with earthquakes occurring primarily in the summit and south flank regions. GPS stations and tiltmeters continue to show motions consistent with refilling of the deep East Rift Zone magma reservoir. Sulfur dioxide emission rates from the summit and from Puʻu ʻŌʻō remain low. These rates have been steady over the past several weeks.

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