Kīlauea LiDAR

During the current eruption event at Kīlauea there have been numerous collections of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data in support of ongoing emergency operations. In addition, there are data sets collected in the past that are available here.

  • July 2018 - Aerial LiDAR scanning (Summit, Pu’u ‘Ō’ō, LERZ) by CRREL/NCALM /USGS
  • June 2018 - Aerial LiDAR scanning by USGS/QuantumSpatial/GEO1
  • 2012/2013 - Terrrestrial LiDAR of Kīlauea Summit by CRREL
  • 2009 - Aerial LiDAR of Kīlauea summit by NCALM




View LiDAR in your browser

The data is viewable online in your web browser using Potree and Entwine. Chrome and Firefox are known to work on desktop systems, but it is unlikely that the viewer will work very well on handheld systems.



July 2018 CRREL Helipod Acquisition

0.5m GeoTIFF Filled DTM

Download Summit 0.5m GeoTIFF (filled)

Download Summit 0.5 GeoTIFF RII (Relative Intensity Image)

Download Puna Lerz 0.5 GeoTIFF (filled)

Download Puna Lerz 0.5 GeoTIFF RII (Relative Intensity Image)

S3 path: s3://grid-partner-share/USGS_2018_Kilauea/summit-dtm

S3 path: s3://grid-partner-share/USGS_2018_Kilauea/lerz-dtms

0.5m GeoTIFF DTM

Download Summit 0.5m GeoTIFF (non-filled)

Download Puna Lerz 0.5 GeoTIFF (non-filled)

July 2018 CRREL Helipod Aerial LiDAR as 1km LAZ tiles

(Ground and Noise classified)

Summit S3 path: s3://grid-partner-share/USGS_2018_Kilauea/summit-tiles/

Puna Lerz S3 path: s3://grid-partner-share/USGS_2018_Kilauea/puna-lerz-tiles/

July 2018 CRREL Helipod Aerial LiDAR in flight line configuration

Summit S3 path: s3://grid-partner-share/USGS_2018_Kilauea/summit/

Punz Lerz S3 path s3://grid-partner-share/USGS_2018_Kilauea/Puna_LERZ/

June 2018 Acquisition

0.5m GeoTIFF Filled DTM

Download 0.5m GeoTIFF (filled)

S3 path: s3://grid-partner-share/USGS_2018_Kilauea/not_loaded/DTM_0.5m

S3 path: s3://grid-partner-share/USGS_2018_Kilauea/not_loaded/DTM_0.5m_filled

June 2018 Aerial LiDAR as 1km LAZ tiles (Ground and Noise classified)

S3 path: s3://grid-partner-share/USGS_2018_Kilauea/PC/Pointclouds/

2009 – 2013 Acquisitions

2009 NCALM Aerial LiDAR

2012 – 2013 CRREL Terrestrial Scans


Access to the processed data files can be found using the USACE/NGA GRiD system. A one-time registration and login is required. GRiD supports online processing of LiDAR data.



The initial georegistered flight line point clouds were delivered to the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab (CRREL - David Finnegan/Adam LeWinter) for follow on processing via PDAL using a CRREL Amazon cloud instance developed by Hobu Inc under contract to CRREL.


All processing done with PDAL 1.7.2 and GDAL 2.2.0

  • Creation of 1km Tiles from flightlines. All flightlines were read to create a large virtual dataset and then filters.splitter was used to create 1km tiles.

  • Bare earth and noise processing. PDAL filters.outlier in default statistical mode was used to mark points as noise (Classification 7) and then non noise points were passed to filters.smrf (using defaults) and used to mark ground points using Classification 2.

  • Tiles were filtered on Classification 2 points and passed to the gdal writer using IDW (inverse distance weighting) to create DTMs with 1/2 m cell sizes

  • All DTM tiles were merged to 1 geotiff using GDAL 2.2 and written in compressed (LZW) and uncompressed format using Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF (COG) structure. A hillshade in compressed (LZW) and uncompressed was also made.

  • All DTM tiles were then processed using gdal_fillnodata.py to create filled DTMs. These were then merged in a similar fashion as in step 4.

  • Coordinate system was set to EPSG:6635+5703


Coordinate system information

Aerial data

NAD83 UTM 5N, NAVD88 Geoid 09

TLS data

NAD83(PA11) UTM 5N



July Aerial Data

The July 2018 LiDAR data Collection over the Kīlauea Summit and the Lower East Rift Zone was conducted by the US Army Cold Regions Research & Engineering Lab (CRREL), The University of Houston and the USGS. Funding was provided by the State of Hawaii and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The system utilized was an R44 helicopter based pod which uses a Riegl VQ580i full waveform laser scanner. Total of 9 flights over the course of 5 days (July 8 - 12, 2018)

June 2018 Aerial Data

This data set was contracted by the USGS via Quantum Spatial, Inc., and acquired by GEO1 and Windward Aviation. GEO1 conducted the collection activity using a Windward Aviation Hughes 500 helicopter with a dual LiDAR scanning system that utilized two Riegl VUX-SYS scanners operated as one unit. The data set was acquired through 11 lifts, and comprises 4 distinct AOIs.

2012 – 2013 CRREL Terrestrial Scans

The 2012 - 2013 terrestrial LiDAR data collection over Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u Crater and Overlook lava lake was conducted by the US Army Cold Regions Research & Engineering Lab (CRREL), the University of Northern Colorado and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO). These data were collected using a Riegl VZ-1000 full-waveform laser scanner. The researchers tracked the growth of the Overlook lava lake crater over time and the lava lake surface activity using multi-temporal surveys.

2009 NCALM Aerial LiDAR

NCALM and others. See https://doi.org/10.5069/G9DZ067X for full detail.