Archive | Volcano

Senator Mazie K. Hirono questions Interior Secretary Nominee David Bernhardt about the future home of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Senator Hirono questions decision to relocate Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to Oahu

Moving Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to Oahu “Doesn’t Seem to Make a Lot of Sense”

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This image is from a temporary monitoring camera on the west rim of Kilauea Caldera. The camera is looking East towards the bottom of the newly enlarged Halemaʻumaʻu crater, although the deepest part of the crater is not visible from this vantage point. The crater from left to right (roughly NNE to SSW) is approximately 1 km (0.6 mi) across. The depth of the crater in the visible image from the rim is several hundred meters. Image courtesy of USGS/HVO Webcam

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for March 28, 2019

Kīlauea is not erupting. Rates of seismicity, deformation, and gas release have not changed significantly over the past week.

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This aerial view of the western part of Kīlauea Volcano’s caldera was taken on August 6, 2018. The down-dropped block is faulted about 120 m (400 feet) below the caldera floor. Many 19th-century lava flows are exposed in the fault scarps. Halema‘uma‘u (not visible) is to the left of this photo. USGS photo by D.Swanson.

Volcano Watch: New outcrops make good geology

As Halemaʻumaʻu sank and widened, its crater wall began to expose lava flows that formed during earlier eruptions and were covered by later flows.

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Big Island Press Club bestows ‘Excellence in Media Innovation Award’ to Hawaii Tracker Facebook group

The Big Island Press Club is awards its inaugural Excellence in Media Innovation award to the Hawaii Tracker Facebook Group.

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Explosive eruption columns of ash rising from Halema‘uma‘u at 11:15 a.m. on May 18, 1924 (left) and at 11:05 a.m. on May 15, 2018 (right) look similar. Researchers are re-evaluating early assumptions about the role groundwater played in triggering these explosive eruptions at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano and are now looking at the build-up of gases from retreating magma as a likely trigger. USGS photos.

Volcano Watch: Did groundwater trigger explosive eruptions at Kīlauea?

An explosive eruption at Halema‘uma‘u in 1924 looks similar to the column of ash rising from Halema‘uma‘u in 2018.

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After magma drained from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on April 30, 2018, the crater was roughly 356 m (1168 ft) deep, with the upper part of the crater flared and the deeper part a narrower cylindrical shaft. Collapses on the crater walls have since enlarged sections of the crater and filled the deepest part with rockfall debris, creating a much different crater geometry—as shown in this comparison of models from May 11, 2018, and March 18, 2019. Today, the deepest portion of the crater is 286 m (938 ft).

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for March 22, 2019

Kīlauea is not erupting. Rates of seismicity, deformation, and gas release have not changed significantly over the past week.

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Map of selected earthquakes beneath a portion of southeast Hawai`i from May 4, 2018 to March 14, 2019, showing principally aftershocks following May 4, 2018 M6.9 earthquake. Black dots indicate epicenters of 13,083 earthquakes located during this time interval; yellow stars show locations of the M6.9 earthquake and the March 13, 2019 M5.5 earthquake. Data source: U S Geological Survey, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Volcano Watch: Magnitude 5.5 earthquake – a bump in the night toward a mo​re typical seismic background

This is the same fault that was responsible for last May’s M6.9 earthquake.

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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for March 15, 2019

Kīlauea is not erupting. Rates of seismicity, deformation, and gas release have not changed significantly over the past week.

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Volcano Watch: How is lava flow thickness measured and why does it matter?

During the first few years of Kīlauea Volcano’s Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption, episodic high lava fountains produced multiple lava flows. After each event, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists measured its thicknesses.

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USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists installed a new battery in a summit webcam that provides a view into Halema‘uma‘u. Images from K3cam can be viewed on HVO's website at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/webcam.html?webcam=K3cam. USGS photo: J. Kauahikaua, 03 March 2019.

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for March 7, 2019

Deformation signals are consistent with refilling of Kīlauea Volcano’s deep East Rift Zone (ERZ) magma reservoir.

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This ‘a‘ā flow erupted from fissure 8  on Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone on June 1, 2018, shows how the interior of a lava flow remains incandescently hot even though surface cooling forms a crust of solid rubble. Based on studies of lava flow cooling rates, it will take more than 130 days for a flow this thick (about 4.5 m, or 15 ft) to cool to a temperature of about 200 degrees Celsius (290 degrees Fahrenheit). USGS photo by A. Lerner.

Volcano Watch: How do lava flows cool and how long does it take?

Since the end of the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption questions have surfaced concerning how long it will take for the new lava flows to solidify.

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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for February 28, 2019

Kīlauea is not erupting. Rates of seismicity, deformation, and gas release have not changed significantly over the past week.

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Waikoloa lava flows viewed from the International Space Station

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station shot this photograph of historical lava flows at Waikoloa on the island of Hawai‘i.

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A USGS pilot and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory gas geochemist prepare to conduct a test flight of an unmanned aerial system (UAS) on Kīlauea Volcano in November 2018. This UAS was outfitted with a prototype miniaturized multi-gas sensor for the detection of volcanic gases emitted by Kīlauea, including sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide. USGS photo by Patricia Nadeau.

Volcano Watch: Low sulfur emissions mean a new focus on a different volcanic gas

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) smells are still sometimes detected around the island, but it’s another gas emitted by Kīlauea that has become more important lately—carbon dioxide (CO2).

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