Volcano Watch — Margaret Mangan, Scientist-in-Charge

Release Date:

On March 1, 1996, Dr. Margaret Thair Mangan succeeded David A. Clague as Scientist-in-Charge of the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and became the fifteenth person to lead this illustrious institution in its 84-year history.
 

On March 1, 1996, Dr. Margaret Thair Mangan succeeded David A. Clague as Scientist-in-Charge of the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and became the fifteenth person to lead this illustrious institution in its 84-year history.

Maggie, as she is affectionately known to her colleagues, is an igneous petrologist (a geologist who studies how magmas cool and crystallize), first visited Hawai'i in 1984 to investigate the crystallization of the Kīlauea Iki lava lake. The beauty of the Hawaiian volcanoes enticed her to transfer from the headquarters of the USGS in Reston, Virginia to HVO where she served as staff geologist from 1990 to 1994.

In addition to monitoring and evaluating the hazards associated with the current eruption of Kīlauea Volcano, Maggie conducted research on how gases are released from the volcano and how the rate of gas release influences the vigor or eruptive activity.

Following her stint as staff geologist at HVO, Maggie's research took a natural turn from fluid, basaltic lavas to the more sticky, silicic lavas that produce highly explosive eruptions, such as those occurring at Mount St. Helens or Mount Pinatubo.

Maggie and her husband Patrick Gardner, managing attorney with the Legal Aid Society in Hilo, can be found at all of the fundraising events of St. Joseph School, where their two daughters are enrolled. The first female leader of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is a frequent participant in educational activities aimed at encouraging school-age girls to consider careers in math and science.

Volcano Activity Update

The current eruption of Kīlauea continues unabated, with flows entering the ocean at two sites near Kamokuna. As forecast last week, there was a collapse of the bench near the ocean entry. Two small littoral cones were formed from hydrovolcanic explosions that blasted material up to 300 feet high. Occasional spattering at the coastal entries continued throughout the week, and visitors to the end of the Chain of Craters road were pleasantly surprised by the view. Two earthquakes were felt in Kona during the past week. The first, a magnitude 3.5 located 6 miles west of Keahole Point at a depth of 27 miles, occurred at 9:18 a.m. on March 17. The second, a magnitude 3.0 on March 20 at 7:25 p.m., occurred 2 miles south of Holualoa at a depth of 15 miles. No damage was reported.

If you feel an earthquake, please call us at 967-7328 to report it. Many of the people who felt the earthquakes in Kona reported them in response to our announcement in the column last week.