New outcrops make good geology

VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK — A good field geologist is an opportunist. Never content with what outcrops are available, she jumps at the chance to see another one, hoping that it will provide a better understanding to some question about what happened in the past. But it isn’t every day that new outcrops are created, and rarer still when they are on the scale of those formed during the faulting of Kilauea Volcano’s caldera floor in summer 2018.

Volcano Watch: Did groundwater trigger explosive eruptions at Kilauea?

VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK — In February 1924, the surface of the lava lake at Halemaumau dropped rapidly and disappeared from view. Throughout March and April, the crater floor subsided as magma moved out of the summit reservoir into the East Rift Zone. By May 6, 1924, the floor of Halemaumau had dropped more about 600 feet below the crater rim.

Volcano Watch: Why does lava thickness matter?

VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK — Eruption rate — how much lava comes out of the ground per unit of time — is probably the best measure of volcanic activity, and the first step in that calculation is to measure lava flow thickness and area.

Volcano Watch: How do lava flows cool and how long does it take?

Since the end of the 2018 lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption on Kilauea Volcano, questions have surfaced concerning how long it will take for the new lava flows to solidify. This is a difficult question to answer, because the initial eruptive temperatures along with many different factors can influence the rate of cooling.

Geologists map lava thickness

A preliminary map released this week by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the thickness of lava flows from Kilauea volcano’s most recent eruption.

Geology of the past, how long will the eruption last?

VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK — The 2018 lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption of Kilauea brought an end to the 35-plus year eruption at Puu Oo. With the draining of the summit and the collapse of Puu Oo, Puna residents were concerned that the eruption in the LERZ could be long-lived.

Seven months of no lava at Puu Oo heralds end of an era

VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK — One of the most frequent questions asked of USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists the last several months has been, “Is the Lower East Rift eruption over?” But the same question could – and should – be asked of the Puu Oo eruption.

Volcano Watch: Trek to the mountain of water

VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK — The field day begins with a summit weather check at first light. It is a reflective moment at 6:15 a.m. atop Kilauea Volcano, and the fumarole cracks are steaming like the coffee from my thermos. The weather at Halemaumau crater is cool and dry, with light trade winds from the northeast. We hope for these mornings.