Kīlauea Caldera, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The Kilauea Caldera is located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, Hawaii. When analysts are monitoring a volcano, it’s very important for them to understand what’s happening at the top of the crater during an eruption. Smoke usually obscures the crater from optical satellites, but SAR can see through smoke and ash. The Big Island is interesting because it’s one of the few places in the world that’s growing larger; as magma spills down from the Kilauea Volcano into the ocean, the island grows larger. SAR can detect minute changes so it can help track the island’s growth.