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What can lava tell us? Deciphering Kīlauea’s 2018 eruption

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The 2018 eruption on Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone spewed around a billion cubic yards of lava into Puna. From the moment the eruption began, samples of lava were collected and rapidly analyzed by a team of USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo scientists. Geologists Cheryl Gansecki (UH-Hilo) and Lopaka Lee (USGS-HVO) discuss how their work revealed the complex story of magma sources, both old and new, inside Kīlauea Volcano, and how certain chemical elements can provide insights useful for monitoring eruptive behavior in this Volcano Awareness Month video. Their talk was presented at UH-Hilo on January 16, 2020. Volcano Awareness Month is spearheaded by the USGS–Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, in cooperation with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, and Hawai‘i County Civil Defense, and provides informative and engaging public programs about the science and hazards of Hawaiian volcanoes. USGS photo caption: Lava samples collected during the 2018 Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone eruption were organized for laboratory analyses at UH-Hilo. Labels on the bags indicate where and when the samples were collected.




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