Tag Archive | "usgs"

Bright red polygon features were drawn by USGS Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysts around new or active lower East Rift Zone lava flows, which appear lighter in color due to their high temperature on this thermal map. Collected during a helicopter overflight on May 9, 2018, this map shows fissures 6 (left) and 15 (right) with Pohoiki Road passing between the two vents. USGS map.

Volcano Watch: How are lava-flow maps made during an eruption?

Computer programs known as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been the preferred tool of USGS cartographers for many years. Using commercial GIS software, the user creates a stack of “layers,” such as labels, roads, and political boundaries that together form a map.

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In this panoramic view, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park’s Crater Rim Drive (left foreground) disappears into the enormous void created by the collapse of Halema‘uma‘u and portions of the Kīlauea caldera floor during the dramatic events at the summit of the volcano in May-August 2018. USGS photo by D. Dzurisin.

Volcano Watch: Kīlauea 2018 events mark a watershed for volcano science

The 2018 summit collapse and lower East Rift Zone eruption at Kīlauea Volcano were dramatic and, for many Island of Hawaiʻi residents, tragic events. As with all eruptive crises, these events offered exceptional opportunities to learn more about how volcanoes work and to answer some “bigger picture” questions.

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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for October 25, 2018

A slight inflationary trend near and east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō suggests that magma may be refilling the middle East Rift Zone. Low seismicity and reduced gas emissions do not indicate that the magma is shallow, but HVO continues to closely monitor this area and will report any significant changes.

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Volcano Watch: Kīlauea hazard assessments include analyses of salts on volcanic ash

Upon contact with water, either through ash falling into water catchments or by rain falling on ash, the soluble components are washed from the ash.

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Low sulfur dioxide gas emissions on Kīlauea have resulted in greatly diminished vog (volcanic air pollution) in Hawaii, giving rise to spectacular views on the island. Here, looking across the field of lava erupted from Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone this past summer, the shield-shaped profiles of Mauna Loa (left) and Mauna Kea (right) can be clearly seen in the far distance. Photo taken Wednesday, October 10, 2018 courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for October 18, 2018

Kīlauea is not erupting. Summit and East Rift Zone activity are greatly reduced, with low rates of seismicity, deformation, and gas emissions recorded this past week.

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Volcano Watch: Aftershocks of the 2018 magnitude-6.9 earthquake expected to continue

What causes these earthquakes, and how long will they last?

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Fissure 8 Cone on October 10, 2018. USGS/HVO image.

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for October 11, 2018

Kīlauea activity is greatly reduced, with low rates of seismicity, deformation, and gas emissions recorded this past week, and no active lava at the surface of the volcano since September 5.

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Webcam image of Kilauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Image courtesy of USGS/HVO

USGS lowers volcano alert level from WATCH to ADVISORY level

Accordingly, HVO is lowering the Volcano Alert Level for ground-based hazards from WATCH to ADVISORY. This means volcanic activity has decreased significantly but continues to be closely monitored for renewed activity. The Aviation Color Code is also being lowered from ORANGE to YELLOW.

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Left: Horseshoe-shaped crater of Mount St. Helens in 1980, formed by a landslide that removed the top of the volcano. The crater is about 2 km (1.2 mi) wide and the floor is about 600 m (1,970 ft) below the crater rim. Right: Halema‘uma‘u nestled in the summit crater of Kīlauea Volcano on August 1, the day before the last collapse event. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory building is visible at far right. USGS photos.

Volcano Watch: Volcano collapses mark the beginning and end of USGS scientist’s career

Steven Brantley’s 37-year stint with the USGS—16 years at the Cascades Volcano Observatory and 21 at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory—ends this month.

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This comparison shows the area of Kapoho before and after. Kapoho Crater is in the left portion of the image. Lava filled much of the crater, including the small nested crater that contained Green Lake. The Kapoho Beach Lots subdivision is in the right side of the image, north of Kapoho Bay, and was completely covered by the fissure 8 lava flow. Vacationland Hawai‘i, in the lower right corner of the image, was also completely covered, along with the adjacent tide pools. Kapoho Farm Lots, near the center of the image, is also beneath the flow. For a map of the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption fissures and surrounding area, see the HVO web site

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for October 4, 2018

Active lava has not been seen within the fissure 8 cone since September 5, and the high rates of seismicity and deflationary deformation at the summit stopped abruptly on August 4.

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On the right, a tiltmeter is ready for installation in a shallow borehole. On the left, the tiltmeter is located at the bottom of a 3 to 4 m (10 to 15 ft) borehole lined with a metal casing. The tiltmeter is surrounded by sand to secure it within the borehole so that it does not touch the casing. USGS photos.

Volcano Watch: Tiltmeters measure tiny changes that can have big consequences

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) uses a diverse set of instruments to monitor active volcanoes in Hawaii.

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Fissure 8 cone. September 27, 2018.

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for September 27, 2018

At Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone, the most recent significant incandescence visible within the fissure 8 cone was on September 15. At the summit of the volcano, seismicity and ground deformation remain low.

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South side of Halemaʻumaʻu at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, showing a short section of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park’s Crater Rim Drive (arrow) preserved on a block of the former caldera floor that has dropped down about 80 m (260 ft). Thinly bedded Kīlauea explosion deposits (E) from 16th-18th centuries are overlain by 19th and 20th century lava flows in the wall of Halemaʻumaʻu. USGS photo by D. Swanson.

Volcano Watch: Will this summer’s limited collapse of Kīlauea caldera eventually widen?

Putting together the evidence for such events is complicated, time-consuming, field-oriented research, but it paid dividends at Kīlauea by recognizing the large-scale cyclic behavior of the volcano during the past 2,500 years.

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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for September 20, 2018

The combined sulfur dioxide emission rates at Kīlauea’s summit, Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and lower East Rift Zone remain at less than 1,000 tonnes per day—lower than at any time since late 2007.

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