In partnership with the American Samoa Department of Education’s Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Accountability and Dr. Laura Murray of the University of Maryland, Park Rangers of the Office of Interpretation and Education organized a session as part of a week long workshop about coral reefs. This workshop was catered towards science teachers from primary and secondary schools with the hopes that they will be inspired to focus on the topic in the upcoming school year.
Ranger Sam provided a brief talk about the importance of corals and issues affecting the oceans such as ocean acidification and coral bleaching. Activities like testing the pH of different liquids, placing coral pieces in vinegar, and playing a board game in which participants earned energy stars for being “green” were administered by Rangers Pai and Eymard along with Dr. Murray.
The following is this week’s edition of “Volcano Watch” from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory:
Most people know that the Island of Hawaiʻi has many earthquakes, including several every year that are strong enough to be felt. They are caused by three dominant forces. The first force is volcanic. When magma moves underground, it stresses the rocks around it, creating earthquakes. These typically occur in the shallowest 5 km (3 mi) of the volcano, although some can occur deeper. Volcanic earthquakes usually do not exceed magnitude 5 in size.
The second force results from the settling of the Hawaiian Islands. As the islands grow larger over time, they tend to flatten due to gravitational forces. This causes the volcanoes to spread under their own weight. The spreading affects the entire volcano but the stress is most easily released on the interface between the spreading volcanic island and the underlying ocean floor on which the volcanoes are built. Sediment, which accumulated on the ocean floor before the Hawaiian volcanoes began to grow, acts as a lubricant for spreading, but the boundary is still a sticky one. The largest and most damaging earthquakes that take place in Hawaiʻi—including the 1975 magnitude-7.7 Kalapana earthquake—occur along this interface.
The third force is the weight of the volcanoes on the Earth’s surface which can cause earthquakes around each of the Hawaiian Islands. Such earthquakes usually occur in the Earth’s mantle, beneath the 10-km-thick (6-mi-thick) oceanic crust on which the volcanoes are built. The 2006 magnitude-6.7 Kīholo Bay and 1973 magnitude-6.2 Honomū earthquakes are examples of this force in action.
As many of us learned in primary school, the Earth is made up of a solid inner core floating within a molten outer core. The outer core is surrounded by mantle, which makes up the bulk of our planet, and the crust is the very thin outermost shell on which we all live.
Pressures are already high in the mantle because of all the rock that lies above. Additional stresses arise from the weight of the islands pushing down on the crust below. It is these additional stresses that build in the mantle and create the environment where an earthquake can happen. Earthquakes that occur in the mantle can be very large, as nearly everyone who was in the state on October 15, 2006, can appreciate (that was when the magnitude-6.7 Kīholo Bay earthquake caused heavy damage on the Island of Hawaiʻi, closed roads on Maui, and knocked out power to Oʻahu). Thankfully, the fact that mantle earthquakes occur at such deep levels means that the shaking is less intense at the surface than it would be if the earthquakes were much shallower.
Mantle earthquakes can occur anywhere under the Hawaiian Islands, although they are most common on the younger islands. The most recent strong mantle earthquake occurred just last week, when an magnitude-5.3 event was recorded at 40-km depth off the south coast of Hawaiʻi Island. The earthquake was widely felt but caused no damage. Still, it serves as a good reminder of just how strong these mantle earthquakes can be.
Even to the northwest of the Island of Hawaiʻi, the mantle is still being stressed by the weight of the older volcanoes that make up the island chain. As a result, mantle earthquakes can cause damage on older islands, like Oʻahu and Kauaʻi, even though the volcanoes that make up those islands haven’t been active in many thousands of years. For that reason, it is important that all residents of the State of Hawaii, and not just the Island of Hawaiʻi, know what to do in case of an earthquake. Stay tuned to this column for more details on earthquake preparedness in the months to come.
For more information about earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in Hawaii, visit the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website!
People + Family + Kuleana = Community
Kohala celebrated Kamehameha Day on Tuesday June 11, 2013 . Kids and adults who came by the Ala Kahakai NHT booth got to put their feet on the trail. 40+ footprints of people, family names and kuleana (responsibility) graced a 15 foot long poster created by the local community and guests at this annual Kohala event.
One of the formula for connecting, reconnecting and enhancing connections to the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail is using outreach activities which can engage active involvement of people at community events. People who participated got to realize that their families are part of the living culture of the trail. Mahalo to all the footsteps on the paper trail. Hope to see you out and about on the real trail soon.
Keep Puako Beautiful and Hawaii Wildlife Fund will team up with Keep Hawaii Beautiful, Recycle Hawaii, Hawaii State Parks and Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail to host a shoreline hiking clean up from Kanekanaka Pt. to Hapuna Pt. The area is between Puako and Hapuna. Volunteers and vehicles are needed to pick up litter on the trail and connector roads, to document findings, to load into transport vehicles and dispose items at the Puako Transfer Station.
Date: June 15, 2013, Saturday
Time: 7:00 AM
Meet: Beach 67 To access Kanekanaka Point for orientation: Drive down Puako Beach Dr., turn right and on to Old Puako Rd and go north to Beach 67. Turn left at the “parking sign” and drive makai 1/8 mile to meet for orientation
To sign up: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wear proper shoes and attire for walking on dirt trails. Sun protection & sunscreen recommended. Bring heavy work gloves, refillable water bottle, & buckets for recyclables. We provide some lite work gloves, litter pickers, bags, water jug & cups. First aid kit & lifeguard on site. Instructions on safety and potential hazards for clean-up will be presented at the check in station.
For more information call, 326-6012 ext 104.
A very special donation was recently made to Kalaupapa National Historical Park this past April, courtesy of Grandma Jean O’Keefe of Kualapu‘u, Molokai. The donation consisted of three objects associated with the life of Father Damien. Father Damien was canonized in the Roman Catholic Church as a Martyr of Charity in 2009, and objects associated with his life are now considered holy relics. The donation to Kalaupapa NHP included: a fragment of the Saint’s original coffin; cloth that touched his head; and nails he used to build the original Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Church on Molokai.
Photo Caption: Donated Holy Relics of Saint Damien.
The Roman Catholic Church has guidelines that determine if an object can be considered a relic and which kind. There are three classes of relics. First-Class relics are typically physical remains, such as bones. Second-Class relics are items worn or frequently used by the saint, such as vestments or tools. Third-Class relics are those objects that have been touched to a first- or second- class relic. There are three objects displayed which are Third-Class relics associated with Saint Damien.
The fragment of wood from Father Damien’s original coffin was collected when his remains were exhumed for identification in 1936. His original redwood coffin was opened at Kalawao and again in Honolulu. The original redwood coffin was then enclosed in another coffin of koa wood for shipment to Belgium. Several pieces of the redwood coffin were collected in Hawaii and in Belgium. What remains of the original is on display in a Damien Museum in Tremeloo.
The piece of cloth was touched to the head of Father Damien’s physical remains. As part of the Sainthood process, Damien’s vault was again opened in Louvain, Belgium in the 1950s. Based on the design of the Holy Card the relic is associated with, it is likely the cloth relic was collected during the inspection of the remains at that time.
The nails were used by Saint Damien to construct the church Our Lady of Seven Sorrows in Mapeluhu, Molokai, about 14 miles east of Kaunakakai. The church was irretrievably damaged by termites and burned down in 1965. The church has since been rebuilt, but these nails were collected from the ashes for preservation.
These relics were donated in honor of Saint Damien and in memory of Grandma Jean’s husband Michael P. O’Keefe. A friend of O’Keefe’s contacted the park’s Cultural Anthropologist, Ka‘ohulani McGuire to set-up the donation. Grandma Jean, age 93, wanted to ensure the artifacts are preserved and to educate the public about the history of Kalaupapa and Saint Damien of Molokai. Park Museum Curator, T. Scott Williams and McGuire came topside to meet and receive the donation.
Photo Caption: Grandma Jean O’Keefe and Ka’ohulani McGuire (NPS, Cultural Anthropologist) at the time of the donation of the relics.
Photo Caption: Grandma Jean O’Keefe and T. Scott Williams (NPS, Museum Curator)
The relics were transported to Kalaupapa by Tomiko Nishihira, postmaster at Kalaupapa since November 2012. Nishihira herself has personal ties to the artifacts. Her great-great grandfather Andrew Poaha knew Saint Damien and helped to build Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Catholic Church topside in 1874. Elizabeth Keaka, Poaha’s wife washed Damien’s clothes during the construction of the church. Tomiko’s heritage line also links to the kamaāina who lived at Makanalua before the first patients were sent to Kalawao in 1866 – before Kamehameha I unified Hawai‘i. “I feel honored” was Nishihira’s response when asked to transport the Catholic Church’s sacred relics from topside to Kalaupapa’s NPS museum collections facility.
The NPS (National Park Service) has specific procedures and requirements when accessioning artifacts such as, verifying authenticity, ownership and condition of the items entering the collection. If you have any significant artifact, please contact the Cultural Resource Management Division of the NPS in Kalaupapa to determine if you would like to donate or have the museum staff photograph to document your historical information. Creating digital images of the museum objects make it feasible to share the story of Kalaupapa and Kalawao with more people in Hawaii and worldwide. The museum collection is stored in a specially designed building with a temperature and humidity controlled environment and was built to preserve the cultural and natural histories of the Kalaupapa Settlement and entire peninsula. The Kalaupapa NHP museum collection facility known as “Hale Mālama” (house of care) provides a safe environment and is open for scheduled public viewing, families, and researchers when sponsored into Kalaupapa.