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.
Though there hasn’t been an eruption in Hawaii in 2020, the year has hardly been quiet—earthquake swarms, an elevated alert-level on Mauna Loa, and a growing water lake on Kilauea are reminders that island residents should be aware of Hawaii’s active volcanoes.
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.
Kilauea Volcano’s 2018 eruption was triggered by a relatively small and rapid change at the volcano after a decade-long build-up of pressure in the upper parts of the volcano, according to a recent study published in Nature Communications by earth scientists from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and U.S. Geological Survey.
While this scenario describes the highly destructive 2018 eruption on the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) of Kilauea, it also pertains to an earlier event on the East Rift Zone: the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) lava flow in 2007.
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 So, topographic models can become outdated relatively quickly, and we need to update them accordingly.
The U.S. Geological Survey has five volcano observatories tasked with monitoring low to high threat volcanoes throughout the United States.
Famous for glowing red lava and billowing volcanic plumes, Halemaumau has long inspired poets, painters and photographers to find meaning in the color and light of this dynamic landscape.
On the evening of Thursday, Oct. 22, people living near the summit of Kilauea Volcano began to feel a series of earthquakes. They were small, and some could even be mistaken for a strong gust of wind blowing against the house.
There have been no significant changes observed recently at Kilauea’s summit water lake, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said this week.
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.
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.
Residents on Hawaii Island are accustomed to feeling earthquakes. As the ground shaking subsides and the safety of everyone around is assured, one of the first questions we typically ask is “how big was that earthquake?”
You may have seen the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory’s “Caldera Chronicles” article about their new-and-improved website, in which they hint at a change coming to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s (HVO) website, too. It’s true!
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.
Last week, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was able to open the Kilauea Overlook to the public for the first time since the lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapse in 2018. The viewing location offers a new perspective on the breathtaking summit collapse structures and the major changes those collapses had on Kilauea’s landscape.
Geodesy is the science of accurately measuring and understanding the Earth’s geometric shape, gravity field, and orientation in space — and how these change through time. Many geodesists today map shorelines, determine land boundaries, and improve transportation and navigation.
Entrance fees to be waived at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; Kilauea Overlook, closed since 2018 eruption, to open
Entrance fees will be waived Tuesday at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and all fee-charging national parks in the U.S. in celebration of the 104th anniversary of Founder’s Day.
Driving Highway 11 from Volcano to Waiohinu on sunny, vog-free days, it’s hard to miss that bright white soccer ball on the slope of Mauna Loa above Pahala Town.