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Researcher measures the wing of a palila nestling
July 18, 2006

Researcher measures the wing of a palila nestling

A very young palila nestling is given unique color bands and it's body measurements are taken on Mauna Kea volcano, Hawai‘i Island, Hawai‘i. In a multi-decadal study of palila and the factors influencing their population, Dr. Paul Banko has studied the diet, movement, and nesting behavior of these critically

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June 24, 2006

Lava Breakout from PKK Lava Tube at East Lae‘apuki

(June 24, 2006, 19:00:53 to June 25, 2006, 01:00:55) After sunset on June 24, 2006, lava burst from the PKK lava tube about 50 meters inland from the older sea cliff bounding the inboard edge of the East Lae‘apuki lava delta. Lava reached the sea cliff and began cascading over it in less than a minute, and it spread quickly across the lava delta below. The cascade was

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June 3, 2006

Gas Pistons Within Drainhole Vent at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō

(June 2, 2006, 18:30:02 to June 3, 2006, 02:00:03) Gas-pistoning is an interesting phenomenon seen at Kīlauea and some other basalticvolcanoes. It is caused by the accumulation of gas near the top of the lava column within a volcanic vent (Swanson and others, 1979). The shallow accumulation of gas causes the lava surface to rise (the "piston"). Eventually, the gas breaches

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May 29, 2006

Lava Tube Bubble Bursts on the East Lae‘apuki Lava Delta

(May 29, 2006, 10:45:46 to 19:30:49) The interaction of sea water and lava creates a volatile situation (Mattox and Mangan, 1997). When this happens inside the confined space of a lava tube, or a narrow, water-filled crack, the results can be impressive. In this movie, lava bubbles, bursting from the top of the PKK lava tube, put on quite a show for several hours. Some of

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Large cracks in active lava delta, Kīlauea Volcano...
May 19, 2006

Large cracks in active lava delta, Kīlauea

Substantial cracks cutting across a lava delta are clear indication that the delta is subsiding as it grows across the unstable pile of interfingering lava flows and fragments built on the steep submarine slope. The larger cracks on this delta are 1-2 m (3-6 ft) wide. Lava flows spread onto the delta from some of the cracks and then, after solidifying, were cut by renewed

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Active lava delta on southeast coast of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i...
May 19, 2006

Active lava delta on SE coast of Kīlauea, Hawai‘i

Lava delta at East Lae‘apuki on the southeast coast of Kīlauea Volcano is about 17 hectares (43 acres). The delta extends about 400 m seaward from the sea cliff and is about 850 m long parallel to the shoreline. The steep sea cliff embayment resulted from collapses of earlier deltas; the collapses undermined and took away parts of the cliff. Note similar inactive delta

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Juvenile ‘i‘iwi in the hand
April 10, 2006

Multi-colored juvenile ‘i‘iwi

‘I‘iwi are one of the most charismatic Hawaiian honeycreepers extant today. Their long, curved bill allow them to reach nectar deep inside specially evolved Hawaiian flowers. As they mature, juvenile ‘i‘iwi will go from these mottled, multi-colored feathers to bright red coloration. 

March 22, 2006

Shatter Ring on the PKK Lava Tube

(March 20, 2006, 11:30:10 to March 22, 2006, 07:00:16) The flow field feature seen here in profile is a shatter ring. Shatter rings are circular to elliptical volcanic features, typically tens of meters in diameter, that form over active lava tubes (Kauahikaua and others, 2003; Orr, 2011) They are typified by an upraised rim of blocky rubble and a central depression.

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US Army helicopter flies over the heads of researchers on Mauna Kea
February 23, 2006

US Army helicopter flies over the heads of researchers on Mauna Kea

A US Army helicopter from Pohakuloa Training Area flies overhead of palila researchers on Mauna Kea volcano, Hawai‘i Island, Hawai‘i. 

November 28, 2005

Lava Delta Collapse at East Lae‘apuki

At 11:10 in the morning on November 28, 2005, the lava delta at the East Lae‘apuki ocean entry, on Hawai‘i's southeastern coast, began to collapse into the ocean. This was not a catastrophic failure of the 13.8-hectare delta, but instead occurred by piecemeal calving of the front of the delta over a period of just less than 5 hours. The collapse removed nearly the entire

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Nene adults and goslings in a grassy field
November 27, 2005

Nene adults and goslings

A mating pair of adult nēnē (Branta sandvicensis) keep a close watch on three young goslings. An endangered species and the state bird of Hawai‘i, nēnē are the last remaining species of Hawaiian goose.    

Kīlauea Volcano's east Lae‘apuki lava delta after 70-100 m (230-330...
August 27, 2005

Kīlauea's east Lae‘apuki lava delta after 70-100 m (230-330 ft) lon...

Embayment of lava delta shows result of collapse. The initial collapse was large enough to send waves washing over much of the east half of the delta, because visibility was completely lost for almost 20 minutes, due to a steam white-out. Note rocky debris hurled by the waves onto the delta surface in foreground.

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USGS
February 11, 1999

Imagine this scene: the crew at the Hilo Fire Department receives a call telling them to stand by because an arsonist is setting a fire. If the blaze warrants a response, the fire crew will be notified. In the volcano-monitoring business, we receive standby calls about four to six times a year.

USGS
February 4, 1999

During the past couple of months, those of us living in east Hawai`i have experienced several episodes of poor air quality, owing to disruptions of the northeasterly trade winds. The trades usually bring us rain (especially during the last two weeks!) but also sweep the air-polluting volcanic smog (vog) away from east Hawai`i.

USGS
January 28, 1999

Reggie and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory were inextricably associated for 34 years. I was privileged to be part of the relationship for much of this time.

USGS
January 21, 1999

One of the most striking aspects of a newly formed lava flow is its barren and sterile nature. The process of colonization of such flows by plants and animals is called primary succession, and it is also found on other newly formed surfaces such as glacial deposits, large landslides, and river deposits.

USGS
January 14, 1999

Here's a quiz for all you volcano junkies: What's the second highest volcano in North America? Hint—it was named by the Aztecs and has been erupting on-and-off for the last four years. If you guessed Popocatepetl, you pass, and if you can pronounce it, go to the head of the class!
 

USGS
January 7, 1999

Kīlauea has been erupting for more than 16 years. Is this an exceptionally long time for an eruption to last? The answer is yes, but there have certainly been longer eruptions during human history—much longer.
 

USGS
December 24, 1998

When you visit the coast to watch lava pour into the sea, do you ever wonder where the lava came from and what path it took to the surface? We earth scientists do.

USGS
December 24, 1998

Today is the 16th anniversary of the ongoing Pu`u `O`o-Kupaianaha eruption of Kīlauea Volcano. Lava has erupted from vents located on Kīlauea's east rift zone since January 3, 1983.
 

USGS
December 17, 1998

Last week, four members of the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory attended the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco. AGU has a membership of more than 35,000 scientists from 115 countries, and 8,275 of the members attended this meeting.

USGS
December 11, 1998

At a recent public meeting, the State of Hawai`i outlined a proposal to locate a new, approximately 2,300-bed medium-security correctional facility 10 km (6 mi) downslope from the existing, approximately 100-bed minimum-security correctional facility.

USGS
December 3, 1998

Scientists have learned a lot about the on-land part of Kīlauea's east rift zone, but little is known about its underwater part, the Puna Ridge. A research cruise late in September and October was the first to explore the ridge in detail.
 

USGS
November 26, 1998

Hawai`i is one of the most extensively studied volcanic regions in the world. However, there is still very little known about the processes that take place deep underneath a volcano in what geologists casually call the "plumbing system."