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Saturday, September 17, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022

Michelle Chacon Leon, of LDO Market, a coffee milling equipment company based in Pāhala and serving Hawai'i and beyond,
took time to finish a race in the Kaʻū Coffee Trail Runs on Saturday. See race results in Sunday's Kaʻū News Briefs.
Photo by Laura Diaz

VOLUNTEERS TO TRAVEL TO AN UNINHABITED NORTHERN HAWAIIAN ATOLL and stay for six months are needed. The state Department of Land & Natural Resources has put out a call, saying, "Have you ever dreamed of getting away from it all and spending the next six months on a nearly-pristine island in Hawai‘i? Plus, the bonus of doing something really cool and rewarding for nature and her creatures."
    DLNR Division of Forestry & Wildlife is partnering with the Kure Atoll Conservancy in seeking habitat restoration volunteers for work at the Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary, in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
    Hōlanikū, Kure Atoll, is a part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and is located 1,400 miles northwest of Oʻahu. Hōlanikū provides important habitat for wildlife, including the endangered Laysan duck, Anas laysanensis, and ‘llioholoikauaua, the Hawaiian monk seal. Eighteen species of seabirds nest on Hōlanikū including Kaʻupu, the black footed albatross and ʻAoʻū, the Christmas Shearwater.
Volunteers are sought to live on Kure Atoll for six months. DLNR photo
    Over the course of six to eight months, volunteers will be trained to conduct: Invasive plant removal (manual and chemical); invasive species monitoring, plant identification; wildlife monitoring and species identification; native plant propagation and distribution; safe animal handling; and beach cleanups to remove wildlife entanglement and ingestion hazards.
   Although the program objectives are diverse, the majority of time is dedicated to invasive plant removal.
   Kure Atoll Conservancy Executive Director Cynthia Vanderlip said, “Over the last 20 years DLNR has been working to transform Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary from a tangled mess of weeds to a resilient functioning ecosystem that supports over one million nesting seabirds, hundreds of shorebirds and 80 endangered Laysan ducks. This work was done by many hands who worked year-round to remove the most destructive weeds and plant native Hawaiian plants. These natives prevent erosion and increase the nesting success of seabirds.”
    To apply, send resume, cover letter, and three references to kureatoll@gmail.com. For more information, see KureAtollConservancy.org. See a video at https://vimeo.com/124725648

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

GROUND PENETRATING RADAR SHOWING INTERIOR OF THE FISSURE 8 CONE from the 2018 Kilauea Eruption is the focus of Volcano Watch, the weekly column by USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates. The following was written by National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow Lis Gallant:
    Scientists from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) and collaborators from the University of South Florida had the unique opportunity to get a peek at the layers inside Ahuʻailāʻau (the cone that formed around fissure 8) with ground penetrating radar (GPR) over the summer.
    GPR is a technique that uses small radar pulses to detect objects and changes beneath the ground. When these pulses are transmitted into the ground, they encounter things like faults or the boundary between different lava layers. They hit these obstacles and reflect back towards the surface, where they are captured by a receiving antenna. Unlike medical X-rays, GPR uses low-frequency radio waves no more powerful or harmful than those picked up by household radios. Essentially, GPR allows us to “see” inside of the cone in a way that does not damage it in the long-term.
The top panel shows a shaded relief map of Ahu'aila'au and the locations of the survey lines in black,
with the radar line below highlighted in yellow. The lower panel shows and annotated radargram, noting
where the GPR saw flecive boundaries in thicker black lines These boundaries indicate layers of basaltic
pumice and other tephra that are variably continuous and inconsistently thick.

    The transmitter and receiver are attached to a sled and guided along the ground surface and the data are collected in lines. We use different line directions and orientations to tie the lines together so we can get an idea of the layers beneath the surface in 3D.
   You may be wondering how deep into the cone we are able to see, and the answer to that question depends on two main things. The first is the wavelength of the energy we transmit with the GPR—the longer the wavelength, the larger the antennae size, and the deeper we can see. The second is the type of ground we run the survey on—very wet clays and soils generally make for poorer survey conditions, whereas dry and hard layers are better. Luckily, things like lava and tephra make for excellent survey conditions!
    We were able to image 50 feet (15 meters) into the cone for the Ahuʻailāʻau GPR survey using 100 megahertz (MHz) antennas. The data collected from GPR surveys are plotted on a “radargram.” Radargrams may look like modern art prints, but to the trained eye of a geophysicist these plots tell us a great deal about what is lurking beneath the surface.
    The main purpose of this GPR survey was to help HVO scientists better understand how cinder cones grow. The name “cinder cone” is a bit of a misnomer because features like Ahuʻailāʻau are not built entirely out of uniform piles of cinders. In fact, Ahuʻailāʻau is mostly basaltic pumice!
    Most cartoon drawings of cinder cones illustrate their insides like a multi-layered cake that slopes down and outwards from a central high point. Some of these layers are made of cinders (the cake), while others can be bits of lava that were still molten when they landed on the sides of the cone (the icing). As things like the fountain height and the wind direction change, so too do the thickness and location of the eruptive deposits.
    The pictured radargram shows that things are a little more complicated and not nearly as delicious as the simple sloped cake model. The upper part of the cone in this area is made mostly of tephra (fragments of lava that travel through the air before being deposited on the ground). These layers are variably thick and are not continuous down the flank of the cone. There is little spatter—globs of lava that stick together when they land—present, as well.
    Essentially, we have a very lumpy cake that lacks well defined layers and contains only a small amount
Ahuʻailāʻau overflight in May of 2022.  USGS photo

of icing. The sections of the cone that bound the opening into the spillway contain a greater amount of spatter than the section shown in the radargram.
    Combining our survey results with monitoring data and other geophysical surveys allows us to understand how this prominent feature formed during the three-month-long eruption of Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone in 2018. We plan to share the results of this Ahuʻailāʻau survey after we complete the data processing.
    Volcano Activity Updates: Kīlauea volcano is erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level is at WATCH (https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/volcano-hazards/about-alert-levels). Kīlauea updates are issued daily.
    Over the past week, lava has continued to erupt from the western vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Sulfur dioxide emission rates remain elevated and were last measured at approximately 1,300 tonnes per day (t/d) on September 7. Seismicity is elevated but stable, with few earthquakes and ongoing volcanic tremor. Over the past week, summit tiltmeters recorded two deflation-inflation (DI) events. For more information on the current eruption of Kīlauea, see https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/recent-eruption.
    Mauna Loa is not erupting and remains at Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY. This alert level does not mean that an eruption is imminent or that progression to an eruption from the current level of unrest is certain. Mauna Loa updates are issued weekly.
    This past week, about 158 small-magnitude earthquakes were recorded below the summit and upper elevation flanks of Mauna Loa—the majority of these occurred at shallow depths less than 15 kilometers (9 miles) below sea level. Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements show low rates of ground deformation over the past week. Gas concentrations and fumarole temperatures at both the summit and at Sulphur Cone on the Southwest Rift Zone have remained stable over the past week. Webcams show no changes to the landscape. For more information on current monitoring of Mauna Loa, see: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/monitoring.
    Two earthquakes were reported felt in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week: a M3.2 earthquake 11 km (7 mi) ENE of Pāhala at 31 km (19 mi) depth on September 14 at 4:20 a.m. HST and a M3.3 earthquake 18 km (11 mi) WSW of Hilo at 38 km (24 mi) depth occurred on September 13 at 1:39 a.m. HST.
    HVO continues to closely monitor Kīlauea's ongoing eruption and Mauna Loa for any signs of increased activity.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

Kaʻū Girls beat Kohala in Varsity and JV play on Saturday on the Trojan's home court. Photo by Julia Neal

Kaʻū Trojan Varsity and JV girls volleyball teams
  continued a winning streak, besting Kohala on
Saturday at home. Photo by Julia Neal
KA'Ū TROJAN GIRLS VOLLEYBALL TEAMS BEAT KOHALA on Saturday in JV and Varsity play at home in the Kaʻū District, Robert Herkes Gym. JV took down Kohala Cowgirls in two sets, 25-5 and 25-9. Varsity worked through four sets to earn the win, losing the first at 17-25 and winning the next three 55-16, 25-19, and 25-21.
    For the Trojans, Leahi Kaupu scored 18 kills and three aces. Jazmyn Navarro racked up 12 kills. Kyia Hashimoto managed 7 kills and 2 aces. Tehani-mae Espejo-Navarro achieved 2 kills and 3 aces, with Kamalyn Jara taking 2 kills and 2 aces.
    Kaʻū takes on Kealakehe at home this Monday, Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. and Makualani Christian Academy at home on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 5 p.m.
    In football, Kaʻū Trojans traveled to Pahoa on Saturday and scored more than in any game played this season, coming up with 38 points to Pahoa's 40. Coach Greg Rush said Kaʻū has scored far more points during the beginning of this season than it accomplished in the entire season last year. Next Saturday at 1 p.m., Kaʻū takes on Hawai'i Preparatory Academy on home turf in Pāhala.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.


See September issue of The Kaʻū Calendar
at www.kaucalendar.com, and in the
mail - Volcano, Kaʻū to South Kona.