Volcano Watch: A small but notable magma intrusion at Kilauea’s summit

The 2018 Lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit caldera collapse marked the end of the 35-year-long Puu Oo and 10-year-long summit lava lake eruptions, and the beginning of a new chapter in Kilauea Volcano activity. The volcano is continuing to behave in ways that are a response to the major events of 2018 and “the new normal” is yet to be defined.

Volcano Watch: When rocks fly

Tephra is the Greek word for ash, and it is the label we use for rocks that come flying out of the volcano during an eruption. Every feature of every single tephra grain has something significant to say about the volcanic process that created the grain and the transport journey it took afterward.

Volcano Watch: How has topography been modeled at Hawaii’s volcanoes?

Modeling topography on active volcanoes is unlike doing so in any other setting, because dramatic changes can occur on timescales far shorter than a human lifetime. For example, in 2018 at Kilauea, approximately 1 cubic kilometer of rock volume (0.25 cubic miles) was lost at the volcano’s summit and deposited on the lower East Rift Zone. So, topographic models can become outdated relatively quickly, and we need to update them accordingly.

Volcano Watch: Crack team of geologists measure the Koa‘e fault system

The Koa‘e fault system connects Kilauea’s East and Southwest Rift Zones south of the caldera. Faults here appear as low cliffs, or “scarps” along Hilina Pali Road in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. These fault-cliffs slip during major earthquakes, such as those of May 4, 2018, near the beginning of Kilauea’s 2018 eruption.

Volcano Watch: Join the Great Hawaii ShakeOut

Major earthquakes cannot be predicted. Successful earthquake predictions need to have three things correct: the location, the time, and the magnitude. The best anyone can reliably do is get two out of three correct, for earthquakes that impact the public.

Volcano Watch: On the surface of Kilauea’s new landscape, a story is told

Kilauea’s 2018 summit collapse dramatically transformed the geometry and appearance of Halema‘uma‘u crater and Kilauea caldera. Last week’s “Volcano Watch” article described how the 2018 events impacted the magma plumbing system beneath the surface of Kilauea’s summit. This week, we’ll explore how the 2018 events impacted the geologic deposits on the surface.