Volcano Watch — The "official" month ends, but volcano awareness continues

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The staff of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) sends a big "mahalo" to everyone who attended our public presentations during Hawai‘i Island's 5th annual Volcano Awareness Month in January 2014. Your enthusiasm in learning more about Hawai‘i's volcanoes inspires us to create programs about them. Thank you!

The "official" month ends, but volcano awareness continues...

An HVO scientist (center) observes 20-m- (65-ft-) high lava fountains erupted from Mauna Loa on March 25, 1984. The 30th anniversary of this eruption will be the topic of an "After Dark in the Park" program presented by HVO geologist Frank Trusdell on March 25, 2014.

(Public domain.)

HVO especially appreciates Hawai‘i Island media, which shared—in print and online—information presented at several of our talks with the people of Hawai‘i and beyond. This media coverage was highly valuable for folks who were unable to attend the presentations.

We also thank Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park for videotaping HVO's 2014 Volcano Awareness Month talks that were presented as "After Dark in the Park" programs. These videos are now available on the Park website. Links to them are also posted on HVO's website.

January's talk on Hawaiian fissure eruptions, presented at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, was recorded by NALEO ‘O Hawai‘i Community Access Television. This video will be aired on Hawai‘i Island cable TV in February, as well as streamed worldwide via the Internet. See NALEO's website for the 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 Kīlauea'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 http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/.

Although the "official" month promoting volcano awareness has ended, we hope that HVO's presentations have inspired you to continue learning about our dynamic island environment.

With that in mind, HVO will be offering 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 Hawai‘i newspapers, as well as on the radio.

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

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 Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Long-time HVO volunteer Ben Gaddis will recount selected stories from his popular Volcano Awareness Month presentation on May 13, when he and HVO geologist Don Swanson co-present a talk about the 1924 eruption of Kīlauea. This After Dark in the Park program will mark the 90th anniversary of Kīlauea Volcano'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.


Volcano Activity Update

A lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u produced nighttime glow that was visible via HVO's Webcam during the past week. The lava level fluctuated with two deflation-inflation (DI) events and ranged from 43 to 60 m (140–200 ft) below the rim of the Overlook crater.

On Kīlauea's East Rift Zone, the Kahauale‘a 2 flow continued to be active northeast of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. After the flow front stalled over a week ago at a distance of 7.8 km (4.8 miles) northeast of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, the flow reactivated, and this new activity is back from the stalled flow front, approximately 5–7 km (roughly 3–4 miles) northeast of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Webcam images indicate that small forest fires are continuing.

There were no earthquakes reported felt on the Island of Hawai‘i in the past week.