Friday | November 24, 2017
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Volcano Watch: The “official” month ends, but volcano awareness continues

The staff of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory sends a big “mahalo” to everyone who attended our public presentations during Hawaii Island’s fifth annual Volcano Awareness Month in January. Your enthusiasm in learning more about Hawaii’s volcanoes inspires us to create programs about them. Thank you!

HVO especially appreciates Hawaii Island media, which shared — in print and online — information presented at several of our talks with the people of Hawaii and beyond. This media coverage was highly valuable for folks unable to attend the presentations. We also thank Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for videotaping HVO’s 2014 Volcano Awareness Month talks presented as “After Dark in the Park” programs. These videos are now available at the park website at Links to them are also posted on HVO’s website (

January’s talk about Hawaiian fissure eruptions, presented at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, was recorded by Na Leo O Hawaii Community Access Television. This video will be aired on Hawaii Island cable TV this month, as well as streamed worldwide via the Internet. See Na Leo’s website at for air dates and other details.

Adding to the excitement of this year’s Volcano Awareness Month, print copies of HVO’s newest USGS Fact Sheet — “The First Five Years of Kilauea’s Summit Eruption in Halema‘uma‘u Crater, 2008-2013” — arrived in the nick of time for our After Dark in the Park program about the summit eruption, enabling us to share them with you. This publication, written for the public, is also available online (

Volcano Awareness Month included a new twist this year: In addition to sharing what we know about Hawaiian volcanoes, we also addressed what we don’t know about them — the unanswered questions that drive volcanologists to do the work that they do — in a series of “Volcano Watch” articles in January. These and other Volcano Watch articles, written weekly by HVO staff year-round, are posted on the HVO website at

Although the “official” month promoting volcano awareness ended, we hope HVO’s presentations inspired you to continue learning about our dynamic island environment. With that in mind, HVO will offer encore presentations of several 2014 Volcano Awareness Month talks — as well as some new talks — in the coming months. A brief overview of these talks follows. Details will be provided on HVO’s website and through announcements in Hawaii newspapers, as well as on the radio.

“From Ka‘u to Kona: Stories of Lava Flows and Volcanic Landscapes,” presented by HVO scientists Jim Kauahikaua and Janet Babb, will be offered again March 4 as an After Dark in the Park program at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The talk will also be repeated at the Makaeo Pavilion at the Old Kona Airport State Park in Kailua-Kona on March 11, and at the Ocean View Community Center in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates on April 2.

On March 25, HVO geologist Frank Trusdell will offer “Mauna Loa: Eruptive History and Current Status of Earth’s Largest Active Volcano” to mark the 30th anniversary of this massive volcano’s most recent eruption (March 25, 1984). His talk will be presented as an After Dark in the Park program in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Longtime HVO volunteer Ben Gaddis will recount selected stories from his popular Volcano Awareness Month presentation May 13, when he and HVO geologist Don Swanson together present a talk about the 1924 eruption of Kilauea. This After Dark in the Park program will mark the 90th anniversary of Kilauea’s most violent eruption of the 20th century — the explosive events of May 18, 1924.

If you attended our 2014 Volcano Awareness Month programs, thanks again for your participation! If not, we hope to see you in January 2015 when HVO again presents a series of talks to help keep you informed about our volcanic island home. Until then, watch the HVO website for details about upcoming presentations and other news about Hawaiian volcanoes.


A lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u produced nighttime glow visible via HVO’s webcam during the past week. The lava level fluctuated with two deflation-inflation (DI) events and ranged from 140 to 200 feet below the rim of the Overlook crater.

On Kilauea’s East Rift Zone, the Kahauale‘a 2 flow continued to be active northeast of Pu‘u ‘O‘o. After the flow front stalled more than a week ago at a distance of 4.8 miles northeast of Pu‘u ‘O‘o, the flow reactivated, and this new activity is back from the stalled flow front, approximately roughly three to four miles northeast of Pu‘u ‘O‘o. Webcam images indicate small forest fires are continuing.

There were no earthquakes reported felt on the Island of Hawaii in the past week. Visit the HVO website ( for current Kilauea, Mauna Loa and Hualalai activity updates, recent volcano photos, recent earthquakes and more; call (808) 967-8862 for a Kilauea summary; email questions to

Volcano Watch ( is a weekly article and activity update written by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.


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