Monitoring Hawaiian volcanoes requires a diversified toolkit

VOLCANOS NATIONAL PARK — Most people likely know that the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) uses seismometers and Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers for monitoring volcanoes. However, fewer people may be aware of the full extent of our volcano-monitoring toolkit.

Sounds we can’t hear teach us about lava lakes

If you visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s Jaggar Museum Overlook when the wind is calm, you might be able to hear the sounds of gas bubbles bursting and lava splashing in the Halemaumau lava lake at the summit of Kilauea. What you hear is only part of a rich chorus of sounds emitted from many processes near the surface of an active lava lake.

Why do some earthquakes have negative depths?

Astute visitors to the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) website may have noticed that some recent earthquakes have negative depths. This does not indicate a change in seismicity but, rather, an upgrade in HVO’s seismic data processing system.

January is Volcano Awareness Month on Hawaii

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays upon us, Hawaii Island residents are likely giving little thought to the volcanic terrain beneath their feet. And that’s all right — for now.