Information for the Curious

USGS Photo and Video History of the Current Eruption

USGS frequently asked questions - FAQ (Facebook page) 

USGS Special Meeting May 9, 2018

USGS Meeting of May 9, 2018 regarding Halema'uma'u Crater. Thank you BIVN for sharing this 58 minute informative meeting with the public.

WHY LIVE on an active Volcano?

Nice Piece in the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

Excerpt... "The “why” question is often answered with the statement that people live in places like Leilani Estates because that’s where they can afford real estate in Hawaii. But it’s not that they have no choice, but because they make the choice, and they chose to live in a place that is quiet but never silent because of the pulse of the land; a place where the “living earth” is not just a concept, but a constant presence; where they can have a yard and chickens and rain-watered orchids and cats sleeping on the porch; where they can park a truck on the grass and hang clothes on the line; where nobody bothers them and they can see all the stars at night. Everywhere there are risks. This is a place of immense richness."

 

The 1959 Kopoho Eruption. A Look Back. 

By Gladys Flanders
Published in "Honolulu" magazine in 1985

Look even further back at the Great Sandwich Isle Volcano, 1840

Newspaper article at the link. 

University of Hawaii at Hilo Geology Department Handbook for Viewing Lava

Everything you need to know about the volcanoes around us and how they got that way. 

 

Fractures, Faults, and Hydrothermal Systems of Puna, Hawaii, and Montserrat, Lesser Antilles

Work on your geology game with this in depth article about the inner workings of the faults and fissures of Kilauea and elsewhere.

 

Brilliant drawing . . .

Showing Kilauea's many layers and vents and craters. We sit atop a miracle.

Fabulous Kilauea.jpg

 

 

 May 10, 2018 From  Bruce Omori  " Aloha awakea... Here's pic from this morning's overflight, showing the fissure that erupted on Wednesday, crossing Pohoiki Road, inching closer to the Puna Geothermal Venture facility. Please keep the residents of Leilani Estates and surrounding communities in your prayers! Mahalo!! And, mahalo nui  Paradise Helicopters  for the STELLAR charter service!!!  Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery   Hot Seat Hawaii  — with  Puna Geothermal Venture ."

May 10, 2018 From Bruce Omori "Aloha awakea... Here's pic from this morning's overflight, showing the fissure that erupted on Wednesday, crossing Pohoiki Road, inching closer to the Puna Geothermal Venture facility. Please keep the residents of Leilani Estates and surrounding communities in your prayers! Mahalo!! And, mahalo nui Paradise Helicopters for the STELLAR charter service!!! Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery Hot Seat Hawaii — with Puna Geothermal Venture."

A Poem

Fault Line

by Robert Walsh

Fault Line
Robert Walsh

Did you ever think there might be a fault line
passing underneath your living room:
A place in which your life is lived in meeting
and in separating, wondering
and telling, unaware that just beneath
you is the unseen seam of great plates
that strain through time? And that your life,
already spilling over the brim, could be invaded,
sent off in a new direction, turned
aside by forces you were warned about
but not prepared for? Shelves could be spilled out,
the level floor set at an angle in
some seconds’ shaking. You would have to take
your losses, do whatever must be done
next.

When the great plates slip
and the earth shivers and the flaw is seen
to lie in what you trusted most, look not
to more solidity, to weighty slabs
of concrete poured or strength of cantilevered
beam to save the fractured order. Trust
more the tensile strands of love that bend
and stretch to hold you in the web of life
that’s often torn but always healing. There’s
your strength. The shifting plates, the restive earth,
your room, your precious life, they all proceed
from love, the ground on which we walk together.

Robert R. Walsh, “Fault Line,” from Noisy Stones: A Meditation Manual, Skinner House Books, 1992.

 

 

Reflections from Volcano Village, May 6, 2018

Welcome to lava land.

Why would anyone choose to live on the most active volcano in the world?

We live in the rainforest. The nearby volcano is an ongoing source of wonder and drama. We accept the fact that in its ever-changing extreme beauty, in the profound lessons of the spirit it provides, there also lies danger. The danger to us personally is not extreme, but as with almost every spot on this planet, there are natural hazards. We are experiencing an extreme version of them now.

Last night we had a flurry of small earthquakes, shallow ones with the epicenter nearby. Shifts in the plates of lava beneath us can be abrupt.

When we excavated our pond, the earth mover revealed layer upon layer of lava deposited from eruptions long ago, longer than any of our recorded history and perhaps longer than the Hawaiians themselves have been here. Knowing how the land beneath us is layered helps me understand what is going on. Underneath these layers and winding through them are lava tubes, open tunnels. It is a vast labyrinth beneath our feet, and there are openings near us where spelunkers can descend and explore.

These small but jarring earthquakes that cause lamps to fall over and vases to tumble made me want to look more closely at what is happening here at the summit of Kilauea. I have been monitoring the lava lake inside the crater, and it is dropping rapidly. This means, according to our local USGS experts, that this current event may have something in common with the 1924 eruption where the lava lake fell below the water table, if I understand this, and allowed for water intrusion into the magma. This volatile mixture leads to explosive pyroclastic eruptions that could send plumes far into the air. In 1924 they ascended five miles, and the trade winds carried that material many miles before it fell in a sort of mud ash rain.

We cannot know what will happen. We just watch, observe, and enjoy our island for all that it is. We are here for all these reasons, and nothing changes because our volcano does these things that let us know we live where the earth is alive.

---Gail W. Armand