The past few weeks have been exciting for volcano watchers on the island of Hawaii, especially for visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s Jaggar Museum overlook, where views of the active summit lava lake within Halemaumau have been spectacular.
HILO — Overflows of Kilauea’s summit lava lake covered a large portion of Halemaumau Crater on Thursday, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.
In recent years, scientists have made significant improvements in developing sophisticated models of how volcanoes work. The ultimate goal is to develop models that allow us to forecast new activity.
Three deposits from explosive eruptions at the summit of Mauna Loa are located west, northwest, and east of Moku‘aweoweo, the volcano’s summit caldera. In map view, these deposits are fan-shaped. Along the Ainapo Trail, 1.7 to 2.2 miles southeast of the caldera, several kipuka expose a fourth distinct explosive deposit.
A little more than 10 years ago, conditions around Kilauea volcano’s summit were much different than today. The caldera floor was open to the public, and the air above it was normally clear. Halemaumau was an impressive sight, but peacefully in repose.
Editor’s note: Due to space limitations, Volcano Watch was left out of Sunday’s print edition so it is being published today. It will return to Sunday’s Home section next week.
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.
Today’s Volcano Watch begins with a question: Can you guess when the next slow slip event will happen on Kilauea Volcano’s South Flank? As a hint, the last one was in October 2015, and before then, events occurred in May 2012, February 2010, and June 2007. If this seems like a pattern, you’re right.
KAILUA-KONA — Mauna Loa continues to show signs of unrest, but activity at the world’s largest active volcano appears to be slowing down.