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Date published: June 4, 2020

Volcano Watch—The 1919–1920 Mauna Iki eruption at Kīlauea Volcano

As many people have noted, the last global pandemic was raging one hundred years ago.  Kīlauea was erupting 100 years ago, although it was certainly not quite as significant of an event on the world stage. This eruption a century ago produced the Mauna Iki (“little mountain”) lava shield on Kīlauea’s Southwest Rift Zone.

Date published: May 28, 2020

Volcano Watch — New assessment of Kīlauea’s extreme SO2 emission rates in 2018

If you were around the Island of Hawai‘i—or even other Hawaiian Islands, or Guam!—between May and August of 2018, you likely know that Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption released a lot of sulfur dioxide (SO2). But how much is a lot?

Date published: May 21, 2020

Volcano Watch — Several notable Kīlauea anniversaries occur at the end of May

The past two years of "Volcano Watch" articles from late May focused on commemorating the 49th and 50th anniversaries of the Mauna Ulu eruption. However, the end of May has several other notable Kīlauea eruption beginnings, changes, and endings. Here we reflect on some selected anniversaries spanning 1823–2018.

Date published: May 13, 2020

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Seek Community Input

Public input is needed for the proposed HAVO Disaster Recovery Project following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption and summit collapse.

Date published: May 1, 2020

History of Innovation Leads to Cutting-Edge Technique for Sampling Water Deep Within Kīlauea’s Volcanic Crater

This month marks the second anniversary of the largest rift zone eruption and summit collapse at Kīlauea Volcano in 200 years. In 2018, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaii Volcano Observatory monitored more than 60 collapse events at the summit that caused the floor of Halema‘uma‘u crater to drop about 1600 feet, or more than five times the height of the Statue of Liberty.

Date published: April 30, 2020

Volcano Watch — Looking for maps? GIS data? Try the HVO publications page!

Many messages to AskHVO ( request resources relating to geologic maps and geographic information systems (GIS) data. "Is there a map of a certain ...

Date published: April 23, 2020

Volcano Watch — Increasing magma pressure most likely culprit in triggering the 2018 Kīlauea eruption

This week, many of us read news coverage of a recent study suggesting that unusually heavy rainfall triggered the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea. To address possible heightened concern about this correlation, this week's Volcano Watch offers comments based on HVO's collective scientific understanding of Kīlauea.

Date published: April 9, 2020

Volcano Watch — Aloha and Happy Retirement to Janet Babb

With heavy heart, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) bids aloha to Janet Babb, outreach geologist and educator extraordinaire who retired from federal service in late March. Because of her dedication and guidance over the years, HVO is well-positioned to carry on a tradition of quality media and public engagement.

Date published: March 19, 2020

Volcano Watch — HVO's geological sample collections are an important resource

In the past, HVO would occasionally post images of people collecting lava samples on our website. These photos usually...

Date published: February 27, 2020

Volcano Watch — This week marks 65 years since Kīlauea Volcano's 1955 eruption

February 28, 2020, marks the 65th anniversary of Kīlauea Volcano's 1955 lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption. In recognition of this historic event, we look back at the eruption and compare it to what happened in 2018.

Date published: February 20, 2020

Volcano Watch — Chemical analyses shed light on possible origins of island ash deposits

The origin(s) of volcanic ash deposits on the Island of Hawai‘i have been an enigma, especially those found on and between Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. We know that ash is from ...