Saturday | November 18, 2017
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Magma: What’s hot and what’s not

| | Nov 9 2017 - 3:40pm | Comments

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory routinely collect lava samples from Kilauea and use the chemistry of these samples to infer the temperature of magma (molten rock below Earth’s surface).

  1. | Posted: Nov 9 2017 - 3:40pm

    Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory routinely collect lava samples from Kilauea and use the chemistry of these samples to infer the temperature of magma (molten rock below Earth’s surface).

  2. | Posted: Nov 2 2017 - 12:29pm

    Careful readers of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website might have noticed mention of “threat rankings” in the lower right corner of our new home page ( There, you’ll find a listing of Hawaii’s active volcanoes — Kilauea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai, Haleakala, Mauna Kea and Loihi — with their associated rankings, which range from “very high threat potential” to ”moderate threat potential,” and, in the case of Loihi, “not ranked.”

  3. | Posted: Oct 26 2017 - 3:56pm

    The primary goal of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is to provide scientific information to reduce risks due to volcanic and seismic activity. To this end, HVO scientists assess volcano hazards and inform the public and civic officials using media outlets, community forums, and other outreach activities.

  4. | Posted: Oct 20 2017 - 10:30am

    In March 2008, a new volcanic vent opened within Halemaumau, a crater at the summit of Kilauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The eruption continues today, with continuous degassing, occasional explosive events, and an active, circulating lava lake.

  5. | Posted: Oct 20 2017 - 9:48am

    Pahoehoe lava flows are a common feature on Hawaiian volcanoes, and they have been a serious hazard to residential areas during the Puu Oo eruption over the past few decades. Pahoehoe destroyed much of the town of Kalapana, buried most of the Royal Gardens subdivision, and most recently threatened the town of Pahoa.

  6. | Posted: Oct 13 2017 - 2:47pm

    As the summer months began to wind down this year, Nature’s fury began to wind up and grab much of the news cycle.

  7. | Posted: Oct 12 2017 - 11:02am

    In today’s age of aerial photography, satellites, and drones, bird’s-eye views of geologic features are taken for granted. A century ago, such depictions posed enormous challenges.

  8. | Posted: Oct 1 2017 - 12:06am

    Thirty-seven years after the May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens, Washington, scientists, engineers, land managers, and Federal, State, and County officials are still grappling with a challenge created by the eruption—how to prevent potentially massive downstream flooding by the release of water from Spirit Lake, located at the base of the volcano.

  9. | Posted: Sep 2 2017 - 10:56pm

    Sometimes you just have to sit down and do it. Everyone is faced with this challenge at one time or another and scientists are no exception. Our research into the explosive history of Kilauea Volcano came to just such a head earlier this year.

  10. | Posted: Aug 26 2017 - 10:02pm

    The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has a long tradition of innovation when it comes to the tools that we use to monitor the status and activity of volcanoes. Since HVO’s inception in 1912, observatory staff have developed techniques and manufactured instruments that have been used worldwide for volcano monitoring.

  11. | Posted: Aug 19 2017 - 2:22am

    The longest-lived and most voluminous rift-zone eruption of Kilauea Volcano in more than 500 years — the ongoing Puu Oo eruption — began in January 1983, and is fast approaching its 35th anniversary. So many lava flows, cones, deltas, and other features have formed from eruptions at different vents for varying periods of time that nearly every day is an anniversary for Puu Oo.

  12. | Posted: Aug 12 2017 - 8:53pm

    Thermal cameras have been used by volcanologists around the world for many years to study volcanic processes and search for signs of impending eruptions.

  13. | Posted: Jul 14 2017 - 9:26am

    The new “Geologic map of the northeast flank of Mauna Loa volcano, Island of Hawaii,” the culmination of many years of work by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists, was recently published by the U.S. Geological Survey. The work was spearheaded by John P. Lockwood (affectionately known as “Mr. Mauna Loa”), who is now retired from USGS and HVO, and Frank Trusdell, HVO’s current Mauna Loa Project geologist.

  14. | Posted: Jun 10 2017 - 8:35pm

    Field engineers at the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recently completed a multi-year effort to upgrade a subset of seismic stations at the summit of Kilauea Volcano.

  15. | Posted: Jun 6 2017 - 10:29am

    A diverse array of techniques is utilized to monitor volcanoes around the world, including those in Hawaii. These methods include tracking changes in the chemistry and volume of gases emitted from a volcano, recording earthquake activity, measuring changes in surface temperatures, documenting variations in eruptions, and tracking deformation of the ground surface.