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Sunday, January 15, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023

USGS and University of Hawai'i researchers are proposing to place 1,600 seismic nodes around Pāhala this summer to further study whether there is a channel between lava chambers beneath the village and chambers in Kilauea volcano. The study follow the one last summer and a recent analysis of quakes here by Cal Tech.  Photo by Helen Janiszewski/University of Hawai'i

SEISMOLOGISTS SHED LIGHT ON PROCESSES OCCURRING DEEP BENEATH PAHALA. That is the title of the latest Volcano Watch, written by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates:
    Pāhala, a town located in the southeast part of the Island of Hawai‘i, lies above the state’s most seismically active area. In the last five years, the average weekly number of earthquakes has increased from about 60 to 600 earthquakes per week.
These frequent earthquakes occur deep beneath the Pāhala region at approximately 20 to 40 km (12 to 25 miles) depth. Larger events are regularly felt by residents living both within Pāhala and across the island.
In a 2015 study, scientists at USGS located and classified earthquakes in this region into two main groups.
    A more continuous seismic tremor, a type of signal often used to trace the movement of magma within a volcanic system, was identified at approximately 40 km (25 miles) depth,
Temporary Seismic instruments around Pāhala are in
green and blue. Permanent ones are in white.
USGS image
both on- and off-shore of the Pāhala region. This activity was interpreted as the migration of magma from the deep Hawaiian hot spot to more shallow depths.
    Above this deep region of seismic activity, a zone of volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes (indicative of rock breaking) was observed extending from this tremor region to deep beneath Kīlauea. Based on the linear trend of this seismicity, USGS scientists suggested that this distribution of earthquakes marked a path of magma migration underground from storage below Pāhala towards Kīlauea summit. However, evidence supporting this hypothesis was limited to one chain of VT events.
    A recently released study by seismologists at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) sheds new light on the processes occurring deep beneath Pāhala. These scientists have employed newly developed machine learning (computer systems that analyze large data sets and identify major patterns within the data) to identify a large number of extremely small earthquakes (microseismicity) occurring beneath the Pāhala region that were previously uncatalogued by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Such microseismicity is too small to be identified using automated methods typically employed to detect earthquakes.
    Many of these events are VT earthquakes located within the zone of deep Pāhala seismicity previously identified by USGS scientists. This large number of newly identified VT events outline what appears to be a region of horizontally layered magma storage deep beneath Pāhala, called a sill complex.
Further supporting this idea, long period earthquakes (indicative of the movement of fluids such as magma) are seen occurring within these sills. Together, these observations demonstrate that deep seismicity beneath Pāhala is consistent with the migration and storage of magma within this sill complex.
Researchers deploy the temporary 
seismic instruments. Photo by Julie Chang/UH
The CalTech study also identified a limited number of VT events extending from the sill complex into the region of magma storage beneath Kīlauea summit. The authors suggested that this distribution of earthquakes may represent a possible magma pathway from the deep Pāhala sill complex into Kīlauea’s magma storage reservoir. However, more evidence is needed to support or refute this hypothesis.
    Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is undertaking two large seismic experiments in the region to better understand seismic and volcanic activity in the Pāhala and Kīlauea regions. In the summer of 2022, 86 temporary seismic instruments were deployed across Pāhala to record earthquakes occurring within this region for three months. In the summer of 2023, approximately 1600 temporary seismic instruments are proposed to be deployed across Kīlauea summit to record seismic signals for six weeks.
    These dense, temporary deployments will record seismic activity across the Kīlauea and Pāhala regions more accurately than HVO’s permanent network of instruments. Seismologists at HVO will analyze these seismic data to understand whether magma stored within Pāhala’s active sill complex is connected to, and therefore a source of magma for Kīlauea volcano.

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 Kaʻū Boys Trojan basketball team has beaten a Division I team and last year's Division II
champion whose only loss this year was to Kaʻū. Home games are Wednesday and Saturday.
Photo by Julia Neal
 Kaʻū Beat Division I Kea'au on
Saturday, plays Waiakea on
Wednesday, HPA Saturday,
all three games at home.
Photo by Julia Neal
KAʻŪ HIGH TROJANS BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM won in both varsity and Junior varsity on Saturday. Junior Varsity beat Division I team Kea'au 49 to 42. Varsity beat Kea'au 44 to 40. Head coach Troy Gacayan said standout Trojan JV players were Triton Blanco who scored 12 points and Jestin Panera who scored 11 points.
    For Varsity, Trojans TJ Faafia and Kaimana Kaupu Manini both scored 11 points.
    There will be another home game this Wednesday with JV at 5 p.m. and Varsity at 6:30 against Waiakea, another  Division I team. The last home game and senior night is this Saturday at 5 p.m. against Hawai'i Preparatory Academy.
     Earlier in the season, Trojan varsity beat the defending Division II champions Kohala who were undefeated.  Gacayan called the win against the Kohala Cowboys "a huge upset." Assistant coach is Joah Gacayan.
     Kaʻū Trojans have already qualified for the Big Island Interscholastic Federation semifinals on Jan. 30, If the Trojans win, they will go to the finals at the Civic Center. 
    This Wednesday, Trojans host Division I Waiakea with JV at 5  p.m. and Varsity at 6:30 p.m. at the Robert Herkes  Kaʻū District Gym. The last home game will be this Saturday against Hawai'i Preparatory Academy with JV at 5 p.m. and Varsity at 6:30 p.m.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com, in the mail and on stands.


St. Jude's Hot Meals are free to those in need on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until food runs out, no later than noon. Volunteers from the community are welcome to help and can contact Karen at pooch53@gmail.com. Location is 96-8606 Paradise Circle Drive in Ocean View.  Those in need can also take hot showers from 9 a.m. to noon and use the computer lab from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Masks and social distancing required.

Free Meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are served from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Nā'ālehu Hongwanji. Volunteers prepare the food provided by 'O Ka'ū Kākou with fresh produce from its gardens on the farm of Eva Liu, who supports the project. Other community members also make donations and approximately 150 meals are served each day, according to OKK President Wayne Kawachi.


Volcano Evening Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with live music, artisan crafts, ono grinds, and fresh produce. See facebook.com.

Volcano Swap Meet, fourth Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to noon. Large variety of vendors with numerous products. Tools, clothes, books, toys, local made healing extract and creams, antiques, jewelry, gemstones, crystals, food, music, plants, fruits, and vegetables. Also offered are cakes, coffee, and shave ice. Live music.

Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Ka'ū Coffee. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

'O Ka'ū Kākou Market, Nā'ālehu, Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Nadine Ebert at 808-938-5124 or June Domondon 808-938-4875. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

Ocean View Community Market, Saturdays and Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., corner of Kona Drive and Highway 11, where Thai Grindz is located. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no reservations needed. Parking in the upper lot only. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.

Ocean View Swap Meet at Ocean View makai shopping center, near Mālama Market. Hours for patrons are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Vendor set-up time is 5 a.m. Masks required.

The Book Shack is open every Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Kauaha'ao Congregational Church grounds at 95-1642 Pinao St. in Wai'ōhinu.