Volcano Watch — Volcano hazards training course

Release Date:

Once again, with the end of the spring semester, the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (CSAV) at the University of Hawaii at Hilo has begun its annual summer session course in volcano monitoring. The eighth CSAV International Training Program in Volcano Hazards Monitoring started on May 19.

Once again, with the end of the spring semester, the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (CSAV) at the University of Hawaii at Hilo has begun its annual summer session course in volcano monitoring. The eighth CSAV International Training Program in Volcano Hazards Monitoring started on May 19. Since the inception of the International Training Program, current and former staff members of the US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) have assisted with the CSAV instruction and training.

Geologists, volcanologists, and students from such countries as Costa Rica, Indonesia, Italy, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands have worked with CSAV and HVO to improve upon their abilities to monitor the active and potentially active volcanoes in their countries and to develop appropriate strategies in volcano emergency management.

The International Training Program emphasizes the development of practical volcano monitoring skills with field and classroom training. USGS and UH instructors teach the core volcano monitoring disciplines of seismology, ground deformation, gas geochemistry, and physical volcanology. The Program also addresses volcano hazards assessment and the necessarily close interaction of scientists, government officials, and news media during volcano crises. The students are able to take advantage both of the relative accessibility and approachability of the Hawaiian volcanoes and of the working volcano monitoring laboratory at HVO for these purposes.

Similar to earlier classes, this year's International Training Program includes volcanologists from around the world. The 10 participants have come to Hilo from the West Indies, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Italy, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China. The students from the West Indies are volcanologists from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory where HVO staff have recently served and are scheduled to serve temporary duty assignments in helping monitor the active Soufriere Hills volcano.

We view the International Training Program and our participation in international volcano crisis responses as important components of our broader USGS-HVO mission to mitigate volcano hazards. Through our studies of the Hawaiian volcanoes, we have developed tools, procedures, and insights whose applications are not restricted to only our volcanoes here but can be used worldwide.

Volcano Activity Update

At the time that this article is being submitted to the press (3:30 p.m., Friday, May 23), there is a pause in Kīlauea's east rift zone eruptive activity. The pause in activity began at 5:30 a.m. on Friday morning and is the sixth since the start of episode 55 on February 24. Eruptive activity is expected to resume during the weekend.

We received reports of two felt earthquakes this week. The first earthquake occurred at 12:38 a.m. beneath Keauhou on Saturday, May 17 and was felt throughout Kona. The magnitude of this earthquake was 3.8. Another small earthquake was felt at 2:54 a.m. on Thursday, May 22. This was a magnitude 3.0 shallow earthquake beneath the Leilani Estates subdivision in Lower Puna. There was no reported damage from either earthquake.