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Saturday, March 05, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Saturday, March 5, 2022

The Lava Flows & Goes

This animated gif features one V1cam image, taken around noon each day, from February 1, 2022, through March 4, 2022. At the beginning of February, there was still a prominent enclosed cone over the west vent area within Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea. Over the past month, that cone has broken down and lava has infilled around its craggy remains. The V1cam provides a live view of the west vent in Halemaʻumaʻu and the lava lake. The camera is located on the northwest rim of the caldera, and looks east. USGS images. See more in Volcano Watch below.

A TEMPORARY JONES ACT WAIVER IS SUPPORTED BY ADVOCATES IN GUAM AND HAWAI'I. Guam, like Hawai'i, has been dependent on foreign oil because of the cost of the Jones Act requirement for any oil and other goods  from the U.S. mainland to arrive on U.S. carriers, built, owned and largely staffed by U.S. citizens - the cost much higher than using foreign flagged ships.

    As a result, about a quarter to a third of oil shipped to Hawai'i has come from Russia on foreign ships. However, the only refinery in Hawai'i vowed to reject Russian oil, likely leading to higher gasoline and electricity costs. 

    U.S Congressman Rep. Ed Case said he is working on a Jones Act waiver in Washington, D.C. He said, “We’ve never found ourselves in a situation like this,” with the cost of Hawai'i oil likely to soar with the expense of bringing it from the mainland. Case has authored numerous measures to reform the Jones Act, arguing that is responsible for much of the high cost of living in Hawai'i.

Guamanian Jesse Lujon writes
 of Guam and Hawai'i both needing a
waiver from the Jones Act
to combat cost of oil.
    Jesse Anderson Lujon, a former senator in the Guam
Legislature, wrote an opinion piece in Guam's Pacific Daily News on Sunday. It mirrors concerns in Hawai'i: "The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a new and painful challenge to navigate in our effort to move past the economic turmoil the pandemic has heaped on our island. The invasion is very likely to cause already sky-high gas prices to increase, making it even more expensive for Guamanians to drive anywhere. Another effect of the invasion might be the rising cost of electricity.....It may even cause the price of airline tickets to increase, which comes at a time when we desperately need tourists to return to Guam."
    Lujon wrote that "it is imperative for us to understand that since we import almost everything we need to survive, a temporary waiver of the Jones Act is more relevant and justifiable now than ever before."
    Another Jones Act opposition advocate, Grassroot Institute of Hawai'i leader Keli'i Akina, who also serves on the board of Office of Hawaiian Affairs, wrote a letter to Pres. Joe Biden this week asking for the waiver. See more on the effect of the war in Ukraine on Hawai'i in the Thursday Ka'u News Briefs at http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022_03_03_archive.html

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events  at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

LEARNING LOSS CAUSED BY THE PANDEMIC is the focus of a letter this week sent by Sen. Mazie Hirono to the federal Department of Eduction. She said the American Rescue Plan gave $100 million to the DOE's Institute of Education Sciences to conduct research related to learning loss caused by the pandemic. She said she is especially interested in in the data on Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. She noted a significant learning loss among K-12 students and asked the agency for more information about the work to research and address learning loss in at-risk and  marginalized 
students, and their efforts to disseminate this information to states, school districts, and other education stakeholders.
    A statement from Hirono's office said, "COVID-19 has set students back significantly and further widened opportunity and achievement gaps. At the end of the 2020-21 school year, it was reported that students were five months behind in math and four months behind in reading and these numbers were even higher for students from families with low incomes and students of color." In her letter, Hirono wrote, "IES has an opportunity to play an important role in providing resources—whether through developing and sharing best practices for measuring and addressing learning loss with educators, providing educators with detailed guidance, or disseminating other information focused on addressing learning loss."

    She said that states, school districts, and other education stakeholders "face tremendous challenges to getting students back on track after the challenges they faced during the last two years, and it is critical that we provide them with all available resources."
    Regarding reporting disaggregated data on Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, she said this would allow policymakers the opportunity to better understand how students from different sub-populations have been affected by these learning disruptions.
    Hirono has advocated for federal funding to support K-12 students, including through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which have collectively provided $200 billion in funding for states, school districts, and K-12 schools to support these students. Last March, ARPA provided $100 million for IES to research and address learning loss in K-12 students, as well as additional funding to support low-income students, students of color, children with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care.

    During the 116th Congress, Hirono introduced the Learning Opportunity and Achievement Act (LOAA) to combat learning loss due to COVID-19, particularly for at-risk and marginalized students. Like LOAA, ARPA provided funding to address COVID-related learning loss and directed IES to research and disseminate information to education

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

FRESH LAVA FLOWING INTO THE LAVA LAKE AT KĪLAUEA VOLCANO IS ON AND OFF and may stay that way for some time. The overall trend of Kīlauea’s summit magma system is slow deflation, according to this week's Volcano Watch by scientists and affiliates of USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The column noted the value of historic data streams used to monitor eruption pauses and renewals at Kīlauea’s summit, including ground tilt from borehole tiltmeters. 
    Tilt data also provides valuable insight into the behavior of the lava lake, especially the data from Halemaʻumaʻu crater from 2008–2018, before the series of collapses in 2018 changed Kīlauea’s summit topography.
    In 2008, a short series of explosions preceded the opening of a lava lake in the “old” Halemaʻumaʻu crater. The lake grew steadily, forming what became known as the Overlook crater. Convection of lava within the lake provided a steady supply of sulfur dioxide (SO2), which was the main contributor to vog (volcanic air pollution) in Hawaiʻi. It also provided a reliable glow against the night sky that was visible throughout the summit region.
    When lava began erupting from fissures in Leilani Estates in 2018, Kīlauea’s summit reservoir system began to deflate, and the lava lake quickly drained away before the summit began to collapse.
    One of the interesting facets of the 2008–2018 lava lake era was the close association between summit tilt data and the surface level of the lava lake. As the lake surface would rise within the Overlook crater, summit tiltmeters would record inflationary tilt. As the lava lake surface withdrew, tiltmeters would record deflationary tilt.
ABOVE USGS PLOT: “Summit tiltmeter data (green) shown against lava lake level (blue). The top panel is for the time period 12/1/2017–1/30/2018 and is representative of the “old” lava lake. For this panel, lake level was retrieved from thermal camera images, hence it is given in units of “pixels.” The bottom panel is from 1/15/2022–2/15/2022; in this case, the lake level is determined from a laser rangefinder and is presented as variations around its average level in meters. Note that in the bottom panel, the lake level graph has also been detrended to control for its steady rise. The bars at the bottom of the bottom panel show examples of eruption pause durations (red bars) and times during which inflation has recommenced, but eruption has not yet (black bars).”
    The interpretation was that there was a fully open connection between the lava lake and the shallow summit magma reservoir, referred to as the Halemaʻumaʻu (HMM) reservoir. As a result, the lake acted like a barometer, with its level moving up and down in direct proportion to pressure changes in the HMM reservoir.
    This unique behavior made it possible to determine certain quantities for the HMM magma reservoir that are difficult or impossible to determine at other volcanoes. For example, it is easier to track magma chamber volume changes than to determine the overall volume, but the open nature of the 2008–2018 lava lake also made this calculation possible.
A daytime view of the lava lake at Halema'uma'u on Feb. 2, with Mauna Loa looming in the background.
 USGS photo by F. Trusdell

    In a 2019 publication, scientists showed that by tracking deformation and lava level changes during the opening stages of Kīlauea’s 2018 summit collapses, it was possible to determine that the entire 2018 collapse and eruption decreased the HMM magma reservoir volume by a most likely amount of 20%, leaving the majority of the magma in place.
    The current lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu also rises and falls together with inflationary and deflationary tilt. This indicates that, to some extent, there is again an open connection to the shallow HMM magma chamber. However, some of the deflation and inflation cycles are larger than others, and during these episodes the lava lake level goes down and the eruption pauses. The eruption doesn’t resume, and the lake level doesn’t rise again at the same time as the tiltmeters show inflationary tilt, but instead waits until the amount of inflationary tilt is about equal to the amount of preceding deflationary tilt.
    As the February 3rd Volcano Watch stated, this gives us a rough idea of when the eruption pause might be over and active lava will return to the crater, allowing for an amount of forecasting that isn’t usually possible. The gap in time between the return of inflationary tilt and eruption renewal is also an indication that the connection between the surface and shallow HMM reservoir isn’t always open. While the summit is inflating, pressure is building in the reservoir, and it isn’t until the eruption starts again that the pressure is released. After this the system equilibrates and once again behaves as an open system, like it did in 2008–2018.
Telephoto view during eruption monitoring overflight of Kīlauea summit
 on March 2 shows west vent area within Halema‘uma‘u crater. Lava erupts
from multiple locations near where the west vent cone, which has broken
 down over the past several weeksm  Int he right side of this image, lava
pours from the pond north of the west vent area into the active lava lake. 
USGS Photo by K. Mulliken
   This is an interesting and important difference between the current lava lake and the lake that existed from 2008–2018 and presents the opportunity to learn more about the conditions under which the system might change from closed to open.
    The current overall trend of Kīlauea’s summit magma system is slow deflation. This means there are no signs right now that the eruption could get more vigorous, and this regime of intermittent pauses and renewals could continue for a while. Without any changes, there may even be a time when there isn’t enough pressure left to drive the current eruption. However, Kīlauea Volcano rarely goes without change for long, so we will be sure to stay attentive and prepared for the unexpected.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.


See March edition of The Kaʻū Calendar newspaper at