The following photos were released by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS) (Dated August 29, 2014) . Note: these photos were not taken in areas currently accessible to the public. (You can visit the official website of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park for current information on the areas of Kilauea that are open to public).
The following is this week’s edition of “Volcano Watch” from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory:
During these meetings, HVO’s Scientist-in-Charge, Jim Kauahikaua, and HCCDA’s Director, Darryl Oliveira, provided brief presentations about the lava flow activity and emergency planning efforts, respectively, before answering dozens of questions from attendees. When and where the lava flow might reach specific communities, roads, and infrastructure were topmost among residents’ concerns, but are the most difficult questions to answer at this time.
While it’s true that lava flows travel downhill, their movement is more complex than might be expected. There are several critical factors that affect where lava actually flows and how quickly it advances.
For the June 27th lava flow, these include: (1) how much and how consistently lava is erupted from the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent; (2) whether or not lava breaks out of the tube and creates new surface flows (and tubes) that “steal” lava from the current flow front; and (3) the topography (shape and features) of the ground over which the lava is flowing, including slope steepness and direction, depressions, ground cracks, fault cliffs, craters, and cones.
During the past week, the most active part of the June 27th lava flow moved into extremely irregular topography with lots of cracks and depressions, which makes it futile—at this time—to forecast exactly which areas might be impacted.
The June 27th flow, named for when it began, is erupting from a vent located on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The lava remained close to the vent for two weeks, but on July 10, the flow began to advance to the northeast, with an average speed of about 250 meters per day (820 ft/day), but as fast as about 500 meters per day (1,600 ft/day). These relatively rapid advance rates were likely due to two factors: a steady lava supply and confinement of the flow to a narrow low area between older lava flows.
This low area funneled the flow into a section of Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone that is marked by dozens of deep, discontinuous ground cracks and linear depressions that are hundreds to thousands of meters (yards) long. In mid-August, the lava flow disappeared into one of these cracks, creating uncertainty about if, when, and where it would reappear at the surface.
Over the following days, a line of rising steam along the crack suggested that lava was continuing to advance. On August 24, the flow resurfaced about 1.3 km (0.8 mile) farther down the rift zone, where, after forming a small pad of visible lava, the flow again cascaded into another crack and disappeared from view. As of August 29, a new line of steam progressing farther east along the crack indicated that lava continues to advance.
The irregular topography of the rift zone has kept the lava flow moving toward the northeast. But, as long as the lava continues to travel out of view within ground cracks, forecasting a precise flow path will remain difficult.
At the time of this writing (August 29), the June 27th lava flow did not pose an immediate threat to any residential area. However, HVO and HCCDA continue to closely track the flow with daily overflights of the area, which will continue as long as warranted.
We encourage you to stay informed about the flow. Daily eruption updates are posted on the HVO website (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov) every morning, and maps and photographs of the flow are added after each HVO overflight.
Established in 1916, the National Park Service was created to care for all of the national parks throughout the United States and territories. Each park represents an important part of our collective identity. Some parks commemorate notable people and achievements, others conserve magnificent landscapes and natural wonders, and all provide a place to have fun and learn. The National Park of American Samoa preserves and protects tropical rainforests, fruit bats, coral reefs, and the Samoan culture.
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In celebration of Nēnē Awareness Day (September 26) Haleakalā National Park is seeking student artists in grades 6, 7, and 8 for a Nēnē Awareness Day Logo Contest. The contest begins on August 25, which is the 98th birthday of the National Park Service, and runs through September 18.
Students must draw or paint a logo about nēnē on one 8.5 x11 sized paper and include a short slogan about one of the following ideas: 1. Why nēnē are special or 2. What people can do to protect nēnē. The park will accept one entry per student.
Three winners will be chosen. Each will receive a prize of their choice from books and games donated by the Hawai’i Pacific Parks Association, a non-profit partner of the park. The three winners’ families will each receive a park annual pass ($25). All entries and students’ names will be on display in the park’s Headquarters Visitor Center from September 26-28, 2014 and at the National Park Service booth at the Maui County Fair.
Students may use crayon, marker, watercolor, ink, acrylic or tempera. Collages or computer generated art will not be accepted. All entries must include the student’s name, school, teacher, grade, and a phone number or email contact for the student’s parents or guardians. All information must be legible. Entries must be mailed flat and not matted, mounted, laminated, framed, or folded.
Entries must be received by September 18, 2014. Winners’ parents or guardians will be contacted by September 25. Mail entries to: Nēnē Logo Contest, Interpretation Division, Haleakala NP, PO Box 369, Makawao, HI 96768. For more information please visit www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/things2do.htm.
Occasionally when an NPS scientist pokes around with a camera, they come across a gem of a photo.
Here, an NPS diver prepares for the fun part of work at Kalaupapa National Historical Park. Every year, divers from the NPS Inventory and Monitoring program capture and analyze literally hundreds of photos of the seafloor at Kalaupapa NHP, and three other Pacific Island national parks, to keep tabs on the health of the ecosystem.
Look for more amazing photos on the blog soon.
Yesterday, the territory welcomed the Hokule’a and Hikianalia crews from Hawaii. A traditional Samoan ava ceremony was held to honor their arrival. Later, the American Samoa Community College Samoan Studies Program, the Swains Island group, and the crews performed songs and dances. It was an exciting day in American Samoa!
#Hokulea #MalamaHonua #WorldwideVoyage