|Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists documented newly exposed lava flows and tephra layers in the northwest wall of Kīlauea caldera during a field visit Friday morning, April 21. HVO reports that "these new exposures will help us better understand Kīlauea's long term eruptive history, which alternates between effusive periods (producing lava flows) and explosive periods (producing tephra such as ash)" See more on Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes below. USGS Photo by K. Lynn.|
IN HONOR OF EARTH DAY, THE INTEGRATED CLIMATE ACTION PLAN for Hawai'i County will be released to the public on May 1. Mayor Mitch Roth made the announcement on Saturday, noting that ICAP is "a cross-departmental effort that aims to chart the County's responsibility to reduce its contribution to global climate change and make its services and facilities resilient to the effects of a
"Adapting to a changing climate is an integral part of fostering a sustainable Hawaiʻi Island where our keiki can raise their keiki for generations," said the Mayor. "As an island, we are incredibly susceptible to adverse impacts on our natural environment, and as government, it is our responsibility to act accordingly to preserve and protect our natural and cultural resources. We understand that this is a critical time for our planet and our island, and we will continue to take bold action to address the impacts of climate change here in Hawaiʻi and around the world."
Roth said that ICAP will build on the County's history of commitment to climate action and includes
ICAP will be available in tandem with a Hawaiʻi Island Sustainability Dashboard that tracks the County's greenhouse gas emissions and can be found at rd.hawaiicounty.gov. There, viewers can also find the Energy Analysis for Hawaiʻi County Buildings.
The mayor said the report is the first example of ICAP implementation and the County's first step towards zero emissions conversion for its buildings and facilities.
"The County of Hawaiʻi encourages all residents to review the ICAP and provide feedback through Konveio, an interactive online platform," says the statement. Link to the Konveio site is coh.planning.konveio.com. The County will accept public feedback from May 1 to June 1.
THE MAGNITUDE 4.4 EARTHQUAKE THAT SHOOK VOLCANO AT 2 p.m. on Saturday, apparently did little damage to the area. It was located southeast of Volcano Village and 1.2 miles north northeast of Kīlauea caldera,
DID LAVA FLOW OUT OF MAUNA LOA'S SOUTHERN CALDERA IN late November of 2022? That is the question posed by this week's Volcano Watch, written by USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates:
Official statements from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory noted that initial vents were within the caldera; however, lava flows were reported visible from Kona. Indeed, Kona residents could see lava flows descending the western flank of the volcano and were concerned, feeling that lava was outside of the caldera. In hindsight, it seems appropriate to explain what HVO knew in the first few minutes of the eruption and why Kona residents were able to see the first lava flows.
Most people are familiar with Mokuʻāweoweo - the inner caldera at Mauna Loa. However, there's also an outer caldera, which is a geologic term indicating that less obvious mapped faults designate a much larger caldera feature than Mokuʻāweoweo.
|Map of the Mauna Loa 2022 eruptive fissures, shown as red lines. Red shaded area indicates lava flows produced during the eruption, around fissure vent areas. Solid white line indicates mapped outer caldera boundary. White dotted line indicates inferred outer caldera boundaryburied by historic Mauna Loa lava flows. Fissures documented by C. Parcheta at USGS. Lava flow polygons by USGS National Civil Applications Center.|
Most people are familiar with Mokuʻāweoweo--the inner caldera at Mauna Loa. However, there's also an outer caldera, which is a geologic term indicating that less obvious mapped faults designate a much larger caldera feature than Mokuʻāweoweo.
|Lava, smoke and light seen from Kona where residents saw the flow in late November |
descending the western flank of Mauna Loa. Photo from PBS
Crater Rim Drive mostly encircles, but the outer caldera boundary of Kīlauea caldera extends north to the opposite side of Highway 11. When one drives past the entrance to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, they are driving within the outer caldera of Kīlauea!
Mauna Loa’s southern outer caldera is buried under lava flows from the past centuries (see white dashed line on map). Three distinctive pit craters dominate this area from north to south: South Pit in Mokuʻāweoweo, Luahohonu, and Luahou. These pit craters are within the outer caldera, and not part of the Southwest Rift Zone.
This is an important concept because HVO stated that initial 2022 fissures were restricted to the summit area. Yet, overnight photographs from Kona showed lava flows descending the western slope—so how was this possible? Shouldn’t the lava be hidden from view by the western topographic edge of the caldera?
HVO's use of the phrase “summit region” may have caused confusion for some Kona residents who thought HVO was referring to the “inner caldera.” The flows seen from Kona were coming from 3 km (1.8 miles) of fissures in the south outer caldera. When lava is erupting from this area it is visible because there are no major caldera walls obscuring the view of the western flank.
Later mapping revealed that 2 km (1.2 mi) of fissures extended from the outer caldera into the uppermost extent of the SWRZ, with minor lava being emitted from those fissures. In total, the 2022 eruption of Mauna Loa saw 8 km (5 mi) of fissures open across the central and southern outer caldera floor during the night of November 27–28.
By the first eruption overflight at dawn on November 28, all fissures in the inner caldera, southern outer caldera, and the uppermost SWRZ had stopped erupting and were incandescent glowing cracks. A new set of fissures had begun to form on the Northeast Rift Zone (NERZ). The three lowest elevation fissures were erupting during the initial overflight and named fissure 1–3. Fissure 4 opened two days later, on November 29, 2022.
Geologist from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory selects a sampling site on the floor of Halema‘uma‘u crater Friday morning, April 21, standing near the eastern rim of the lava lake that was active in the western portion of Halema‘uma‘u crater during the January–March, 2023 eruption. The mound next to the geologist is a spatter rampart; spatter ramparts form when bits of molten lava travel through the air and accumulate on the ground surface, forminga mound-like feature. USGS image by L. Gallant
TWO CREWS OF HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY GEOLOGISTS VISITED KILAUEA CALDERA on Friday morning, April 21, airlifted by helicopter to collect detailed data to assess hazards and to better understand the workings of the volcano. One crew visited the crater floor to sample cooled lava from the 2020–2023 summit eruptions. The other crew scaled part of the crater's northwest wall to sample ash beds and lava flows dating back many thousands of years in the volcano's past.
Information they gathered is shared with the National Park Service and emergency managers. Access to this hazardous area is by permission from, and in coordination with, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The volcano was not erupting.
Three of the orange-clad geologists collected tephra samples from the Uēkahuna bluff along the northern wall of Kīlauea's summit caldera. Kīlauea has a history of explosive eruptions—the evidence for these events is contained within the many layers exposed along this part of the volcano.
Although the volcano was not erupting, a wispy plume was seen rising from the crater floor. Kīlauea summit sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates remain low and were most recently measured on April 14 at 110 tonnes per day.
|The late Jeanette Howard's|
legacy is enshrined in a Hawaiian
Civic Club of Kaʻū scholarship.
Volcano Thursday Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with live music, artisan crafts, ono grinds, and fresh produce. See Volcano Evening Market facebook.
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 Kona Dr. Drive and Hwy 11, near Thai Grindz. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no rez needed. Parking in the upper lot. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.