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2019 Kīlauea Disaster Supplemental Funding

Through the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (H.R. 2157), the USGS received Supplemental funding to support recovery and rebuilding activities in the wake of the 2018 Kīlauea volcano eruption. 

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory activities funded under the FY2019 Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act include:

Eruption Response 

The USGS will restore and harden HVO’s volcano monitoring capacity. Data from real-time monitoring instruments at the summit and in critical areas along the rift zones will support early detection of magma and accurate hazard characterizations. New lab instruments will provide enhanced data and sample analysis capabilities. New airborne LiDAR data acquisitions cover approximately 220 square miles of land affected by the 2018 eruption. Unstaffed Aircraft System (UAS) capabilities for volcano monitoring applications will be developed and implemented. 

Geologic Investigations of Kīlauea 

Scientific investigations of the current state of Kīlauea are needed to properly interpret the data from the monitoring networks and characterize the ongoing and future threats and hazards to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and surrounding communities.  An integrated program of geophysical, geochemical, and geologic investigations are necessary to understand the shallow magma reservoir status and evolution post-2018. This work will improve our understanding of summit and rift zone structure and magmatic plumbing, the history and likelihood of dangerous explosive eruptions from the summit region, and our understanding of the rift zones where the greatest concentration of risk exists on Kīlauea. Seventeen different research projects are supported. 

New Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) Facilities 

HVO’s iconic Reginald T. Okamura Building, perched on the rim of Kīlauea volcano’s summit caldera in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, sustained damage owing to ground deformation and repeated earthquakes associated with the collapse of the summit crater during the eruptive activity at Kīlauea in 2018. Because the building cannot be reoccupied, the USGS will build new HVO facilities. The primary new facility will be a USGS Science Center, located in Hilo, on the Island of Hawai‘i. A smaller USGS Field Station will be located in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. HVO will share these new facilities with the USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center (PIERC).