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January 2015 is Volcano Awareness Month

December 30, 2014

January 2015 is Hawaiʻi Island’s 6th annual “Volcano Awareness Month.” With Kīlauea’s current lava flow impacting Puna residents, awareness is more essential than ever for us to live in harmony with the active volcanoes that are our island home.

The US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, in cooperation with Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, and Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, will provide a month-long series of programs about the volcanoes on which we live, with free programs in the park, in Kona, at UH Hilo and in Ka‘ū.

Updates on Kīlauea Volcano’s Two Eruptions:  Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and Halema‘uma‘u. Kīlauea has been erupting nearly continuously since 1983, when a vent, now called Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, opened on the volcano’s East Rift Zone. Then, in 2008, a second vent opened within Halema‘uma‘u Crater at the summit of Kīlauea. Both eruptions are ongoing. Matt Patrick, a geologist with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, presents an update on the Halema‘uma‘u lava lake, a brief overview on the first 30 years of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō eruption, and an in-depth account of the current lava flow that has advanced toward Pāhoa over the past six months. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., Jan. 6 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Halema‘uma‘u lava lake in October 2012 (left) and Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flow in June 2014 (right). USGS Photo.

Halema‘uma‘u lava lake in October 2012 (left) and Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flow in June 2014 (right). USGS Photo.

Updates on Hawai‘i’s two most active volcanoes,Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. Kīlauea has erupted nearly continuously since 1983, when a vent, now called Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, opened on the volcano’s East Rift Zone. In 2008, a second vent opened within Halema‘uma‘u Crater at the summit of Kīlauea. Both eruptions are ongoing. Mauna Loa erupted most recently in 1984 and is expected to erupt again. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory volcanologist Mike Poland talks about the current status of Mauna Loa, updates us on Kīlauea’s summit eruption, and presents a brief overview of the East Rift Zone eruption’s first 30 years, followed by an in-depth account of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flow that has advanced toward Pāhoa over the past six months.
When: Wed., Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. 
Where: University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s University Classroom Building (UCB) – Room 100

USGS photos (left to right):  Kīlauea’s Halema‘uma‘u lava lake in February 2014, Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flow as it advanced toward Pāhoa in November 2014, and Mauna Loa fissure eruption in March 1984.

USGS photos (left to right): Kīlauea’s Halema‘uma‘u lava lake in February 2014, Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flow as it advanced toward Pāhoa in November 2014, and Mauna Loa fissure eruption in March 1984.

Kīlauea Volcano’s Dual Personality:  A Historical Perspective. Kīlauea is temperamental, alternating between quiet effusion of lava and violent explosive eruptions. Each eruptive style lasts for centuries and reflects very different conditions in the caldera. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Don Swanson looks at what we know and don’t know about these conditions. The current effusive nature is beguiling but misleading, for the volcano has been explosive for 60 percent of the past 2,500 years. From a historical perspective, there is reason to think that the Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption may be a prelude to an explosive period. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., Jan. 13 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Kīlauea Volcano’s explosive eruption in 1924 (left) and “quiet” effusion of lava at ocean entry in 2002 (right). USGS Photo.

Kīlauea Volcano’s explosive eruption in 1924 (left) and “quiet” effusion of lava at ocean entry in 2002 (right). USGS Photos.

Updates on Hawai‘i’s Two Most Active Volcanoes: Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. Kīlauea has erupted nearly continuously since 1983, when a vent, now called Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, opened on the volcano’s East Rift Zone. In 2008, a second vent opened
within Halema‘uma‘u Crater at the summit of Kīlauea. Both eruptions are ongoing. Mauna Loa erupted most recently in 1984 and is expected to erupt again. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Frank Trusdell reports on the current
status of Mauna Loa, updates us on Kīlauea’s summit eruption, and presents an overview of Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone eruption, including an in-depth account of the lava flow that has advanced toward Pāhoa over the past few months.
When: Wed., Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Ocean View Community Center: 92-8924 Leilani Circle, Hawaiian Ocean View Estates

USGS photos (left to right):  Kīlauea’s Halema‘uma‘u lava lake in February 2014, Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flow as it advanced toward Pāhoa in November 2014, and Mauna Loa fissure eruption in March 1984.

USGS photos (left to right): Kīlauea’s Halema‘uma‘u lava lake in February 2014, Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flow as it advanced toward Pāhoa in November 2014, and Mauna Loa fissure eruption in March 1984.

Watching Mauna Loa Shake. An earthquake sequence leading to Mauna Loa’s summit eruption in November 1914 was the first to be tracked by newly-installed seismographs at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Though primitive by today’s standards, this was an early success for monitoring and research efforts on Hawaiian volcanoes.  U. S. Geological Survey geophysicist Paul Okubo will talk about the relationship between earthquakes and eruptions on Mauna Loa, including an update on the volcano’s current status, and how HVO’s seismic network has evolved over the past century.  Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., Jan. 20 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas A. Jaggar with early seismic instruments housed in the Whitney Laboratory of  Seismology circa 1913. . USGS Photo.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas A. Jaggar with early seismic instruments housed in the Whitney Laboratory of Seismology circa 1913. . USGS Photo.

Pāhoehoe Lava:  The Ebb and Flow of Molten Rock. Lava erupted from the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent on Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone has been advancing in fits and starts toward the community of Pāhoa since June 2014. After the flow stalled just 170 yards from Pāhoa Village Road in early November, a new breakout of lava began moving toward Pāhoa Marketplace.  University of Hawai‘i at Hilo geologists Ken Hon and Cheryl Gansecki have spent decades studying and filming the behavior of pāhoehoe lava, and will use time-lapse and recent videos to explain how and why these flows advance, stall, and inflate.  Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., Jan. 27 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Pāhoehoe lava advancing through forest  downslope of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on November 20, 2014.

Pāhoehoe lava advancing through forest downslope of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on November 20, 2014.

Updates on Hawai‘i’s Active Volcanoes: Kīlauea, Mauna Loa, and Hualālai. Kīlauea has erupted nearly continuously since 1983, when a vent, now called Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, opened on the volcano’s East Rift Zone. In 2008, a second vent opened at the summit of Kīlauea within Halema‘uma‘u Crater. Both eruptions are ongoing. Mauna Loa erupted most recently in 1984 and is expected to erupt again. Hualālai, quiet for almost 100 years, is considered to be an active volcano, but is it likely to erupt? USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Frank Trusdell reports on the status of Hualālai and Mauna Loa, updates us on Kīlauea’s summit eruption, and presents an overview of Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone eruption, including an in-depth account of the lava flow that has advanced toward Pāhoa over the past few months.
When: Wed., Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m.
WhereMaka‘eo Pavilion, Old Kona Airport State Park, Kailua-Kona

USGS photo of Hualālai volcano

USGS photo of Hualālai volcano

January 3, 2015, also marks the anniversary of Kīlauea’s ongoing East Rift Zone eruption, which began in 1983. During the past 32 years, lava flows have buried over 127 km2 (49 mi2) of public and private land, destroying 215 structures, 14 km (9 mi) of highway, and vast tracts of native forest. The ongoing destruction is a reminder of why it’s important to be aware of and understand how Hawaiian volcanoes work.

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