Tag Archives: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Volcano Watch: New video about Kilauea’s eruption is online


Hawaii News Digest, 22 October 2017, 1530 UTC, Post #15820.

Source:

http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/community/volcano-watch-new-video-about-kilauea-s-summit-eruption-now-online

Reporter:  U.S. Geological Survey.

Accessed on 22 October 2017, 1530 UTC.

Please click link to read the full article and to access the USGS video.

Comment:

A new Kilauea Volcano documentary produced by the U.S. Geological Survey is now online.  The 24-minute video essay is titled “Kilauea Summit Eruption–Lava Returns to Halema’uma’u”.

The well-paced documentary tells the story of the eruption and shows video and photos of the inaccessible lava lake with the public.

The organization of the production is superb and acknowledges the debt owed to the Native Hawaiian culture:

“The video begins with a chant about Halema‘uma‘u by Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele, a retired kumu hula who taught Hawaiian studies at Hawaii and Maui community colleges and the University of Hawaii at Hilo and remains an icon of Hawaiian culture today. The chant expresses traditional observations of an active lava lake and reflects the connections between science and culture that continue on Kilauea today.”

“The documentary then recounts the eruptive history of Halema‘uma‘u and describes the formation and continued growth of Kilauea’s current summit vent and lava lake. Narration is provided by Jackie Pualani Johnson, a recently retired drama professor and chairperson of the UH-Hilo Performing Arts Department.”

“As the story unfolds, six HVO scientists share their insights on the summit eruption. Topics include how they monitor Kilauea’s summit lava lake, how and why the lake level rises and falls, why explosive events occur, the connection between the volcano’s ongoing summit and East Rift Zone eruptions and the impacts of the summit eruption on the Island of Hawaii and beyond.”

You can see the video on the USGS Youtube channel–https://youtu.be/gNoJv5Vkumk.

For the latest State of Hawaii, Hawaii Island, and local sports news, please check the blog sidebars and links. These news feeds are updated daily.

Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today.

Until next time,

Russ Roberts

Hawaii News Digest

https://prgnewshawaii.wordpress.com

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The story of Halema’umau


Hawaii News Digest, 20 October 2017, 1520 UTC, Post #15806.

Source:

http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/story-halema-uma-u

Reporter:  Michael Brestovansky (“Hawaii Tribune-Herald”).

Accessed on 20 October 2017, 1520 UTC.

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

The U.S. Geological Survey has a released a 24-minute documentary titled “Kilauea Summit Eruption-Lava Returns to Halema’uma’u”.  The short film uses historical photos plus high-definition video to outline the history of Kilauea’s ongoing summit eruption.

The focus of the documentary is the lava lake’s modern history which dates from the explosive eruption of 2008.  The full documentary can be found on the USGS’s official Youtube channel, or at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s website.

For the latest State of Hawaii, Hawaii Island, and local sports news, please check the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today.

Until next time,

Russ Roberts

Hawaii News Digest

https://prgnewshawaii.wordpress.com

 

Volcano Watch: Thermal maps help with the pahoehoe challenge


Hawaii News Digest, 24 September 2017, 1600 UTC, Post #15650.

Source:

http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/community/volcano-watch-thermal-maps-help-pahoehoe-challenge

Accessed on 24 September 2017, 1600 UTC.

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

This edition of “Volcano Watch” addresses the issue of pahoehoe lava flows and what can be done to better monitor their development and flow patterns.

Over the past 34 years, pahoehoe lava from the Kilauea Volcano and the Pu’u O’u eruption have covered much of Kalapana, endangered Pahoa town, and buried most of the Royal Gardens subdivision.

Pahoehoe lava flows are difficult to monitor and predict.  Scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) have developed ways to use thermal mapping to predict the course of these dangerous lava flow which can destroy homes and local forests.

This installment of “Volcano Watch” describes one technique that enables better monitoring of these lava flows:

“During our routine helicopter overflights, we use a hand-held thermal camera to collect a series of overlapping, oblique images along the entire length of the lava flow, from the vent to the ocean entry. We then use “structure-from-motion” computer software to stitch the individual images into a large mosaic.”

“This type of software uses the overlapping images to calculate the exact three-dimensional position of each image pixel on the surface of the Earth. We insert a handful of known coordinates in the image mosaic as “ground control” points, which provide “georeference” for the mosaic and orients it to its correct position on the Earth’s surface.”

“This mosaic of thermal images is basically a thermal map of the lava flow surface, and it reveals the exact location of all the active surface breakouts. The map provides a highly accurate picture of surface activity, improving our ability to anticipate where lava might advance. The added benefit is that we can precisely map the path of the main lava tube, which produces a subtle line of warm temperatures on the surface.”

While we may not be able to stop these destructive lava flows, scientists now have tools, such as thermal mapping, to predict where these flows may go, thus increasing public awareness and community safety.

For the latest State of Hawaii, Hawaii Island, and local sports news, please check the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today.

Until next time,

Russ Roberts

Hawaii News Digest

https://prgnewshawaii.wordpress.com

Volcano Watch: Mauna Loa update–unrest continues, but outcome is uncertain


Hawaii News Digest, 17 September 2017, 1530 UTC.

Source:

http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/community/volcano-watch-mauna-loa-update-unrest-continues-outcome-uncertain

Accessed on 17 September 2017, 1530 UTC.

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

Over the past two years, scientists at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory have been keeping a close watch on the rates of “inflation and seismicity” at the Mauna Loa Volcano.  The patterns have waxed and waned “but have remained above what we consider long-term levels.”

Whether these patterns reflect past trends which ended in eruptions is unknown.  Geologists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are asking residents to be aware of potential problems that could be caused by a future eruption of Mauna Loa:

“We cannot discount the possibility that Mauna Loa will move from current conditions to eruption more quickly than it did in 1975 and 1984, potentially with only days to weeks of sharply increased activity.”

“It also remains possible that the current unrest will gradually cease without the volcano erupting, as it did during periods of unrest in 2002 and 2004. And so, we must continue to live with uncertainty about the timing and details of Mauna Loa’s next eruption.”

“In the meantime, HVO is closely monitoring the volcano and working with partner agencies and communities to prepare for a future eruption response. We also are identifying the key scientific questions we would seek to answer in the next eruption.”

“Since 1984, HVO has upgraded and added monitoring instrumentation, developing alarm systems to rapidly notify us of changes that might indicate a Mauna Loa eruption is imminent or in progress. We’ve also created map tools and other products to assist authorities and the public during the volcano’s next eruption.”

“Getting back to the question of should residents relax or stay vigilant, the answer is be prepared. Develop a family emergency plan and review emergency supplies. Know where you live and work with respect to Mauna Loa hazard zones.”

“More information about readying our island community for whatever Mauna Loa has in store for us can be found at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/preparedness.html.”

Keeping informed is the best way to stay prepared for any future volcanic activity on Hawaii Island.  The website provided by HVO is a good guide to what can be expected if and when Mauna Loa erupts.

For the latest State of Hawaii, Hawaii Island, and local sports news, please check the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today.

Until next time,

Russ Roberts

Hawaii News Digest

https://prgnewshawaii.wordpress. com

New sensors will help monitor activity on Mauna Loa


Hawaii News Digest, 14 September 2017, 0630 hrs, UTC, Post #15586.

Source:

http://khon2.com/2017/09/13/new-sensors-will-help-monitor-activity-as-scientists-say-mauna-loa-will-erupt-again/

Reporter:  Jenn Boneza (KHON 2).

Accessed on 14 September 2017, 0630 hrs, UTC.

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

Volcanologists say the slumbering Mauna Loa Volcano on Hawaii Island is slowly showing “increased signs of restlessness beneath its surface.”  Scientists believe it’s only a matter of time before the world’s largest and most active volcano erupts again.  Although the last eruption was in 1984, Mauna Loa has never been quiet, as earthquakes and other surface disturbancies continue unabated.

To monitor this increase activity, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is placing two sensors on the mountain–one on the southwest rift zone to record gas emissions and another on the east flank to track earthquakes and other subsurface data.

HVO scientist Brian Shiro says summit eruptions from Mauna Loa are often fast-moving and potentially dangerous to populated areas of Hawaii Island:

“After a brief eruption at the summit, then it propagates down one of the two rift zones to the northeast or southwest and opens up in a fissure at one of those places for a more sustained eruption,” he said. “Once that fissure opens up, in some cases Mauna Loa eruptions have reached the ocean very quickly in as little as three hours from that point, so they can be fast-flowing eruptions.”

“Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times since 1843, an average of once every five years, according to the USGS.”

For the latest State of Hawaii, Hawaii Island, and local sports news, please check the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today.

Until next time,

Russ Robert

Hawaii News Digest

https://prgnewshawaii.wordpress.com

Volcano Watch: Tephra deposit names-out with the old, in with the new


Hawaii News Digest, 03 September 2017, 1530 hrs, UTC, Post #15534.

Source:

http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/community-news/volcano-watch-tephra-deposit-names-out-old-new

Accessed on 03 September 2017, 1530 hrs, UTC.

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

This edition of Volcano Watch discusses how geologists name “notable” volcanic deposits such as formations. Sometimes, if there is no name, geologists will give the formation a name, usually descriptive of the volcano that formed the area.

Such is the case with the mixture of  features called the Keanakako’i Tephra.  A UH-Manoa professor and a USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist came up with a nomenclature that is “simple and reflects the various processes that formed the different processes.”

While the 12-unit classification isn’t fancy and doesn’t recall any specific geological area, it does simply classification and can be used by both professional staff and volunteers who monitor volcanic eruptions:

“Instead, they opted for a nomenclature that instantly allows a beginner to tell which of two units is the older. The units range from A to L, in order of decreasing age. Unit A was erupted in about 1500 and the four subdivisions of unit L (themselves in temporal order, L1 to L4) in the early 1800s. Letters, rather than numbers, were used to avoid confusion with an earlier numbered nomenclature that never really took off.”

“There’s been predictable pushback. The new terms lack color, are too hard to remember and too disruptive to old thinking, are not descriptive (as if “mystery unit” or “unit H” is descriptive!). But c’est la vie, that’s life. We think, once the shock wears off, the new nomenclature will make things easier for future researchers.”

For the latest State of Hawaii, Hawaii Island, and local sports news, please check the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today.

Until next time,

Russ Roberts

Hawaii News Digest

https://prgnewshawaii.wordpress.com

Small earthquake strikes off Big Isle’s east coast


Hawaii News Digest, 20 August 2017, 04:40 hrs, UTC, Post #15442.

Source:

http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/08/19/breaking-news/small-earthquake-strikes-off-big-isles-east-coast/

Accessed on 20 August 2017, 04;40 hrs, UTC.

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the 4.1 temblor struck at 8:35 p.m., Friday, 18 August 2017, about 66 miles/105 kilometers northeast of Hawaii Beaches.

Here’s the analysis of the event:

“Brian Shiro, the agency’s seismic network manager, says the earthquake was likely caused by the bending of the oceanic plate from the weight of the island. He says it does not pose a significant hazard. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says there is no tsunami threat and that the quake had no effect on Kilauea Volcano.”

For the latest State of Hawaii, Hawaii Island, and local sports news, please check the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

Thanks for joining us today.

Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Until next time,

Russ Roberts

Hawaii News Digest

https://prgnewshawaii.wordpress.com