Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Hawai‘i residents’ perceptions of Kīlauea’s 2018 eruption information

February 5, 2023

The 2018 eruption of Kīlauea Volcano was notable for its variety of large and spatially distinct hazards, simultaneously affecting three geographically disparate, culturally diverse regions in Hawaiʻi. We conducted a pilot study, consisting of 18 semi-structured interviews, two survey responses, and several informal conversations with Hawaiʻi residents to learn which sources/messengers of eruption information were deemed most trusted and credible. Participants' perceptions of the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), community-based messengers, and traditional news media can be examined across four themes: relevance, expertise, sincerity, and pace. Among our interview participants, Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) residents placed the highest trust in their community messengers, summit residents deemed HVO most trustworthy, and Kaʻū residents trusted information from both HVO and local news media. Our findings suggest that future official eruption communications would benefit from 1) designating communications personnel to act as community liaisons and 2) increasing pace and relevance of information delivery.

Publication Year 2023
Title Hawai‘i residents’ perceptions of Kīlauea’s 2018 eruption information
DOI 10.30909/vol.06.01.1943
Authors Robert T. Goldman, Wendy K. Stovall, David Damby, Sara McBride
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Volcanica
Index ID 70240647
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center