USGS HVO Press Release — Hualālai: Hawai‘i's Third Active Volcano

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The public is invited to learn about Hualālai volcano directly from the experts. U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Jim Kauahikaua will give a presentation on Thursday, January 14, at 7:00 p.m., in the Kealakehe High School Cafeteria.

The volcano beneath the feet of most Kona residents and visitors, Hualālai, is the third most active volcano on the Island of Hawai‘i. It has erupted three times in the past 1,000 years. In the same time interval, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa have each erupted more than 150 times.

In 1801, during Hualālai's most recent eruption, lava flowed from the volcano's northwest rift zone to the sea. Today, the Kona International Airport at Keahole is built on this flow field.

Earthquake activity beneath Hualālai has been low in recent decades. But, in 1929, an intense and damaging earthquake swarm most likely marked a failed eruption. In other words, magma rose toward the surface, but did not erupt on to the surface.

What was the 1801 Hualālai eruption like? What have scientists learned from recent geologic mapping of Hualālai? Will the volcano erupt again?

These and other questions about Hualālai will be answered by HVO Scientist-in-Charge Jim Kauahikaua. Kealakehe High School is at 74-5000 Puohulihuli Street, Kailua-Kona. Admission is free.

This talk is one of several scheduled in January as part of Volcano Awareness Month. For a calendar of other events, and more information about Hawaiian volcanoes, please visit the HVO Web site at

Daily updates about ongoing eruptions, recent images and videos of summit and East Rift Zone volcanic activity, maps, and data about recent earthquakes in Hawaii are posted on the HVO website at

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