The National Park Service announced today that it will work with the State and County of Hawai‘i to construct an emergency route along the former Chain of Craters Road to assist residents of lower Puna, whose access to the rest of the island would be cut off if lava covers Highway 130.
“For the past several weeks, we have been putting all of our efforts into getting approval for an alternate route that can be used during this devastating emergency,” said Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.
Scientists at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory estimated on Sept. 19 that based on the flow’s location and rate of advancement at that time, lava from Kīlauea Volcano’s Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent could reach Highway 130 in 21 days – but noted as of Sept. 22, the lava flow advance rate has slowed.
The route, mostly within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, would provide emergency access for the community and would not be open for visitor use. Nearly eight miles of the coastal section of Chain of Craters Road is buried beneath rough, hardened lava, and 5.4 miles is within the national park.
The open section of Chain of Craters Road spans 19 miles from the summit of Kīlauea to sea level within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Opened in 1965, the road has been blocked by lava for 37 of its 49-year existence.
To protect park resources, the emergency route will follow the old lava-covered road alignment as much as practicable.
“The NPS is deeply concerned about this potential disaster to our community, our friends, families, employees and volunteers,” said Orlando. “We have been working diligently with our partners to find an acceptable solution in accordance with federal law,” she said.
The following photos and video were released by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS) (Dated September 19, 2014) . Note: these photos and video 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). Click here to see photos from previous post.
The following is this week’s edition of “Volcano Watch” from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory:
The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) and Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense (HCCD) are working closely together to gather and share information about the June 27th lava flow through daily helicopter overflights. Currently, Darryl Oliveira (HCCD Administrator) flies early each morning to measure the flow’s advancement and direction and to assess fire and smoke conditions. These observations are compiled in a report available to the public later the same morning at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/.
HVO overflights are scheduled 3–4 times per week to complement the County flights, with additional flights as necessary. During the HVO flights, geologists map the perimeter of the flow from the air, take photos, video, and infrared imagery, and assess eruptive conditions along the flow and at Puʻu ʻŌʻō. On at least one of these flights each week, we sample the lava to determine whether the chemistry of the lava is changing (it’s not).
We also try to measure the volume of lava being erupted by estimating the amount of lava flowing through the June 27th lava tube. This low-precision method suggests that between about 300,000 and 500,000 cubic meters (55,000–92,000 gallons per minute) of lava are being erupted each day, which spans the long-term average for the eruption as a whole (since 1983).
Based on feedback from the public, it’s clear that our maps are an important means of communicating information about the lava flow. Therefore, we’d like to offer some clarification of the information included in the maps. Each HVO map shows the current position of the June 27th lava flow relative to nearby structures. By comparing the current position with past flow positions, we estimate the flow’s current advance rate, which has varied over the past week.
An important feature now included on HVO’s maps is the calculated paths of steepest descent, shown as blue lines. These blue lines are not stream beds, but can be envisioned as the regional drainage pattern. In other words, they are the paths where any fluid, including lava, would be likely to flow.
In addition to thoroughly documenting the current position and advance rate of the flow, HVO scientists also recalculate the downslope paths from the newly mapped flow-front position to get the best sense of where the lava is headed. While the regional drainage pattern gives us a fairly good idea, it is based on a digital elevation model (DEM) that may have errors in it. With the new downslope path calculations, however, random variations of plus or minus 5 m (16 ft) elevation are added to the original DEM at random locations to see if, after thousands of runs, this “noise” significantly changes the downslope path.
The results from these secondary calculations do not differ significantly from the regional drainage pattern, but they do show us how some of the downslope paths can be connected in ways that may not be obvious in the regional map. This helps us to choose which one of the possible regional drainage lines is the preferred future lava-flow path. As part of the post-overflight maps, we now indicate that preferred path on a satellite image as a series of arrows that illustrate the next two weeks of time.
Based on the data we acquired during the overflight, HVO issues a forecast in the form of a Volcanic Activity Notice (VAN) that is posted on the HVO website along with the Kīlauea daily eruption update (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php). The VAN includes our best estimates of when the June 27th lava flow will reach significant infrastructures based on the flow’s current advance rate. You can sign up to receive VANs, which are distributed via the USGS Volcano Notification Service (VNS), by subscribing to VNS at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns/.
HVO products—maps, photos, videos, updates and VANs—can all be accessed online at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php, or through links listed in the yellow box on our homepage (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov).
Our products evolve in response to the needs and requests from partner agencies and the public. We have received a lot of feedback, both positive and negative, via our email address, askHVO@usgs.gov, and continue to welcome constructive comments and suggestions.
We also encourage Puna residents to stay informed about the June 27th lava flow. As stated in last week’s Volcano Watch article, while we are hoping for the best, we must also plan for the worst.
The following photos and video were released by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS) (Dated September 17, 2014) . Note: these photos and video 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). Click here to see photos from previous post.
The following photos and video were released on September 15, 2014:
In recognition of the Presidential Proclamation declaring September 15 through October 15 “National Hispanic Heritage Month, 2014 ” we thought we’d share some interesting aspects of Hawaii’s Hispanic heritage.
For well over 200 years, Hawaii has experienced a surprisingly rich Hispanic heritage. In fact, there are some who speculate that the Spanish may have actually arrived in the Islands prior to Captain Cook. According to one source:
Spanish tradition indicates some not-well-substantiated discoveries of
the Islas del Rey, Islas de los Jardines, Islas de las Tablas, or Islas de la
Mesa, all or any of which might have been Hawaii. (See: The Spanish in Hawaii: Gaytan to Marin)
What we do know is that sometime in the early 1790’s, when Kamehameha the Great was consolidating the Hawaiian Islands, it is believed that a foreign ship arrived in Hawaii with a young Spanish adventurer, Don Francisco de Paula y Marin. Although he served the King and the foreign delegations as an effective translator and negotiator, his most lasting achievement was in the field of agriculture.
It is widely held that Marin introduced the first pineapples and coffee to the Islands in the early 1800’s. Both of these crops eventually became important economic resources for Hawaii well into the 20th Century. According to translations of his journal, by 1820 he had planted, pineapples, oranges, beans, cabbages, potatoes, peaches, chirimoyas, horse radish, melons, tobacco, carrots, asparaus, maize, fig trees, lemons and lettuce and had been engaged in processing sugar and in making kukui oil, cooca nut oil, candles, tiles, hay, cigars. As well, Marin served as a sail maker for visiting ships, a butcher, cook, mason, ship carpenter and physician, among many other endeavors.
In 1819, he was sent to Hawai`i Island to attend the ailing Kamehameha as his physician and was present at his death on May 8, 1819. Very literally Marin helped plant the first seeds of what would become the major economic engine of Hawaii for well over a century. As a side note, it is also believed that he was the first non-Hawaiian to be given possession of Ford Island (see: History of U.S. Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor). But of course Hawaii’s Hispanic heritage did not stop with him.
With the first cattle being brought to Hawaii in the early 1790’s, there arose the need to be able to handle the vast herds that roamed freely in Hawaii. In the early 1830’s Kamehameha III at the advice of John Palmer Parker contracted the first Mexican vaqueros to help teach the Hawaiians how to manage and maintain their cattle. These vaqueros, called “paniolos” (Hawaiian pronunciation of “espanol”), trained Hawaiian men how to rope and herd the cattle…years before such activities would be associated with the “Wild West” in the United States. This “paniolo” culture still exists in such places as Waimea on the Big Island, whose Hawaiian cowboys have won world-wide fame in rodeos for well over a century, including at the prestigious Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming.
Around 1900, Puerto Ricans immigrated to Hawaii to work on the plantations. Besides bringing their language with them, these new immigrants to Hawaii brought their distinctive culture, music and food to the Islands. Today, well over 30,000 Puerto Ricans live in Hawaii and many have served in important posts in government and in business.
Of course these are but a few examples of the great influence Hispanic Americans have had on the culture and history of Hawaii!
Aloha! Have a Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month!
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors in October. All programs are free, but park entrance fees may apply. Programs are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:
Lei Hulu Demonstration. Join master lei maker Kilohana Domingo as he demonstrates the intricate art of feather work. See his prized and highly sought after nā lei hulu. Kilohana has taught classes in Hawai‘i and on the mainland. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
The Settlement of the Pacific and Hawaiian Origins: A Perspective from Archeology. When Captain James Cook and other European explorers entered the Pacific in the 18th century, they were astounded to find that virtually every single island was already populated by indigenous island cultures. Where had the ancestors of these island people come from, and how did they manage to discover and settle even the most remote islands, including Hawai‘i? Over the past century, archeologists have sought the answers to these questions. Patrick V. Kirch, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, reviews the history and presents current evidence for the history of human settlement throughout the Pacific. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., Oct. 14, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium
Hula Performance. Enjoy an evening of Hawaiian dance through the art of hula, as performed by Hālau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu ma Kīlauea, under the direction of kumu hula Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Wed., Oct. 15 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium
Lei-Making Demonstration. Joshua Kalima, who has been immersed in the traditional Hawaiian practices since the age of five, shares his knowledge and love of creating beautiful lei. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
National Fossil Day! Ka‘ū Learning Academy co-founder Joe Iacuzzo, the Hawai‘i representative for the National Park Service National Fossil Day, will present a talk titled “Thomas Jefferson to Johnson Space Center: Fossil History in America.” Joe worked for six years on Jurassic Park at Universal Pictures and created an award-winning dinosaur documentary film for Discovery Channel. He has been involved with numerous dinosaur discoveries and is the most widely read dinosaur science writer in the world. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., Oct. 21, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium
Puna ‘Ohana Day. Keiki of all ages are invited to join park rangers and Lois Sanekane to learn all about Hawaiian sea life. Sign up for this free program which includes lunch by calling (808) 985-6019; register by Oct. 17 for lunch. Sponsored by the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center. Free.
When: Sat., Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Where: Maku‘u Farmer’s Market off Highway 130 in Puna
Find posters of these events online: http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/events.htm.
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park invites everyone to volunteer and help protect the park’s native ecology on National Public Lands Day, Sat., Sept. 27. Everyone gets in for free, and volunteers at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will receive a free pass to use on another day of their choosing.
National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States, and all fee-charging national parks offer free entry. Many parks and public lands across the nation organize stewardship projects and special programs on NPLD to raise awareness about why it is important to protect our public lands.
Stewardship at the Summit. Join Park Ecologist David Benitez and volunteers Paul and Jane Field , and remove Himalayan ginger from the summit of Kīlauea. While pretty and fragrant, Himalayan (also called kāhili) ginger is one of the most invasive plants in the park, and on earth. It’s listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as one of the 100 World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species. The park strives to protect the rainforest habitat of native birds and plants, but Himalayan ginger takes over the native rainforest understory, making it impossible for the next generation of forest to grow, and it crowds out many native plants, including pa‘iniu (a Hawaiian lily), ‘ama‘u fern, and others. Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, sunscreen, raingear, snacks, and water. Loppers/gloves provided. No advance registration required.
When: Sat., Sept. 27, 9 a.m. to noon
Where: Meet at Kīlauea Visitor Center
Highway 11 Beautification
Join Park Ranger Nainoa Keana‘aina and pick up trash along the stretch of Highway 11 that runs through the park. Meet Ranger Nainoa at Mile Marker 40, approximately 12 miles from the entrance on the Ka‘ū side of the park. Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, sunscreen, raingear, snacks, gloves, and water. Rubbish bags and safety vests provided. No advance registration required.
When: Sat., Sept. 27, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Where: Meet Ranger Nainoa on Highway 11 at Mile Marker 40
Kīlauea Iki Ecology Hike.
Ranger Dean Gallagher will guide a four-mile, three-hour moderately difficult hike through rainforest into Kīlauea Iki crater, and explain why protecting this diverse ecosystem thriving at the summit of erupting Kīlauea Volcano is so important. Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, sunscreen, raingear, snacks, and water. No advance registration required.
When: Sat., Sept. 27, 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Meet Ranger Dean at Kīlauea Overlook