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Family Day – Coast week Events

September 29, 2014

Last Saturday, the National Park of American Samoa participated in this year’s Family Day to culminate Coastweek events alongside with outer local government agencies, organizations, and vendors.

Newly inducted Junior Rangers with Park Ranger Sam and Chief Michael.

Newly inducted Junior Rangers with Park Ranger Sam and Chief Michael.

Chief Michael and Park Ranger Sam manned the national park booth that entertained kids (and adults) who wanted to be a Junior Ranger. It was fun interacting with the kids as they tell stories of how they protect and preserve our island’s natural resources. They were also able to learn about the national park throughout the Junior Ranger Activity book they had to complete to earn a unique badge and certificate.


In all, we inducted and awarded over 50 new Junior Ranger stewards for this islands preservation and conservation! Fa’afetai to all who dropped by to say “hi” and learned something about the things we do.

Nēnē Logo Contest Winners Announced

September 28, 2014
Don’t Destroy the Nēnē’s Home.” by Heather Angel Jane Ramos from Maui Waena

Don’t Destroy the Nēnē’s Home.” by Heather Angel Jane Ramos from Maui Waena

Three student artists from Maui Waena Intermediate School and one student from Kihei Charter School have won the recent Nēnē Awareness Day Logo Contest.

“Clean Up Your Mess to Save the Nēnē’s Nest.” by Brissa Mae Natividad from Maui Waena

“Clean Up Your Mess to Save the Nēnē’s Nest.” by Brissa Mae Natividad from Maui Waena

Heather Angel Jane Ramos from Maui Waena placed first with “Don’t Destroy the Nēnē’s Home.” Brissa Mae Natividad, also of Maui Waena, won second place with her artwork, “Clean Up Your Mess to Save the Nēnē’s Nest.” Another Maui Waena student, Cherish Ramento, won third place for “Watch Out and Let Them Cross.” A student from Kihei Charter School, Hina Claerbout, tied for third place with “Let the Population of the Nēnē Take Flight.”

“Let the Population of the Nēnē Take Flight.” by Hina Claerbout from Kihei Charter School

“Let the Population of the Nēnē Take Flight.” by Hina Claerbout from Kihei Charter School

Each student will receive prizes provided by Hawai`i Pacific Parks Association, a non-profit partner of Haleakalā National Park.

“Watch Out and Let Them Cross.” by Cherish Ramento from Maui Waena

“Watch Out and Let Them Cross.” by Cherish Ramento from Maui Waena

Two middle schools participated in the contest. All submitted artwork will be displayed at the Headquarters Visitor Center starting on September 26, which is Nēnē Awareness Day. The public can also view all entries in the park’s booth at the Maui County Fair. Artists may pick up their work and prizes either at the park or at the Maui County Fair. The winning entries will also be posted on the park’s Facebook page.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō and the June 27th lava flow

September 27, 2014

Annotated photo showing Puʻu ʻŌʻō and the vent and upper lava tube for the June 27th lava flow. (USGS)

The following photos and maps were released by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS) (Dated September 26 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). Click here to see photos from previous post.

Annotated photo showing the terminus of the June 27th lava flow. Small, sluggish breakouts remain active upslope from the stalled front of the flow, near Kaohe Homesteads. More vigorous breakouts are active even farther upslope, midway along the length of the flow and on a pad of lava within the crack system. (USGS)

This map uses satellite imagery acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base image to show the area around the front of the June 27th lava flow. The flow front closest to the transfer station was inactive, but small, sluggish breakouts were scattered across the surface of the flow upslope from the stalled front. None of these breakouts near the stalled front was advancing significantly. (USGS)

This small-scale map shows the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone in relation to lower Puna. The area of the flow on September 24, 2014, at 10:45 AM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on September 26 at 11:15 AM is shown in red. The distal tip of the flow was inactive, but small breakouts were scattered across the surface of the flow upslope from the stalled front. The most substantial breakouts were on top of a pad of lava within the crack system about 5 km (3 miles) back from the stalled front, and midway along the length of the flow just upslope from where lava first entered the crack system. The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM). For an explanation of down-slope path calculations, see: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/. Down-slope path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map indicate approximate flow path directions. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the lava tube. (USGS)

This large-scale map shows the distal part of the June 27th flow in relation to nearby Puna communities. The black dots mark the flow front on specific dates. The most vigorous breakouts were on top of a pad of lava within the crack system about 5 km (3 miles) back from the stalled front, and midway along the length of the flow just upslope from where lava first entered the crack system. The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Down-slope path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map indicate approximate flow path directions. (USGS)

Why do lava flows stop advancing?

September 26, 2014

This comparison of a photograph with a corresponding thermal image shows a typical lobe of pāhoehoe on the June 27th lava flow. The highest surface temperatures in this image are just under 900 Celsius (1650 F), but if one measured the temperature of the lava beneath the thin crust it would be close to 1140 Celsius (2080 F). (USGS)

The following is this week’s edition of “Volcano Watch” from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory:

(Click to see the most recent post with the latest photos and videos of the lava flow in Puna)

Much scientific study has been done to determine what types of eruptions produce long lava flows. In the 1970s, a very simple idea seemed to guide future work—the length of a lava flow is limited by either the supply of lava or by how well the lava is thermally insulated during its transport to the flow front.

Supply-limited lava flows are those that stop advancing when the vent closes down or eruptive activity moves to another location, cutting off the lava supply. This is a fairly simply idea that’s easy to visualize—the lava flow lasts as long as its vent erupts. The best examples of supply-limited lava flows in Hawaiʻi are from Mauna Loa. Lava flows that advanced on Hilo in 1855, 1881, and 1984, eventually stalled above the town as their respective eruptions waned and the supply of lava to the flow stopped.

But what about vents that keep erupting, like Puʻu ʻŌʻō? Are they capable of producing lava flows that get longer and longer? It depends on how well the lava is thermally insulated as it’s transported through the flow’s tube system.

Solidified lava is an excellent thermal insulator. As lava forms a surface crust, the flow progressively insulates its internal plumbing and eventually forms a lava tube system. That tube system transports lava from the vent to its leading edge, and, as long as the lava doesn’t lose too much heat, the flow will continue to advance.

Over the past three decades, lava flows erupted at Puʻu ʻŌʻō have formed some robust tube systems that have delivered lava to ocean entries for months—or up to a few years—before changes at the vent caused the tube to be abandoned. If those flows hadn’t encountered a coastline, the lava might have continued to advance for a much greater distance.

The Kazumura lava tube system is a particularly good example of how far lava can travel. The tube is within the ʻAilāʻau lava flow field that erupted from vents near the summit of Kīlauea 550–600 years ago and sent flows down the northeast flank of the volcano and into the sea. Kaloli Point was built by an ocean entry during this eruption, which is estimated to have lasted more than 50 years. The Kazumura lava tube system is more than 65 km (40 miles) long, and the part of it not filled with lava is now listed as the longest lava tube cave in the world.

Within this context, why did the June 27th lava flow slow as it approached Pāhoa? HVO scientists noted that the lava flow began to slow considerably as the summit of Kīlauea began to deflate on Thursday, September 18. Such deflations have caused decreases in eruptive output at Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the past, and that could be the case with the current flow as well.

Another possibility for the stalled flow front is that the tube system feeding the June 27th lava flow could be approaching its limits in terms of efficiently insulating the lava moving through it. Based on HVO observations during our September 24 overflight, the lava tube system seems fairly robust from the vent at Puʻu ʻŌʻō to just before the point where lava first flowed into a crack. The exact condition of the lava tube within the crack is unknown because we can’t see into it, but it seems to also be robust.

However, the nature of the tube system from the point at which the lava flow exits the ground crack system near Kaohe Homesteads and heads northeast toward Pāhoa is not yet clear. Although lava has traveled beneath this section of the flow to the flow front since early September, a lava tube system is not yet evident.

The June 27th lava flow is now longer than any other flow formed during the ongoing eruption of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. While the evidence favors a decrease in eruptive output as the cause of the current slow-down, careful study is still needed. If and how a lava tube develops within the distal portion of the June 27th lava flow is important to understanding just how far it, and other pāhoehoe flows like it, is capable of advancing.

It’s important to note that although the flow front has slowed, the June 27th lava flow remains active. Puna residents are encouraged to stay informed about the flow’s status and progress through daily updates posted on HVO and Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense websites (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov and http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/).

Hōkūle’a and Hikinalia Crews Visits the National Park

September 26, 2014
Some of the crew members of Hōkūle’a and Hikinalia.

Some of the crew members of Hōkūle’a and Hikinalia.

Yesterday, the National Park of American Samoa had the pleasure to spend a little quality time with some of the crews from Hōkūle’a and Hikinalia as part of their voyage here in American Samoa.

Park Ranger Pua brought them to the different spots leading to the national park as he integrated similarities and connections between Samoan and Hawaiian stories, cultures, and beliefs. The crews enjoyed a quick dip at Pola Island at the end of the program as they sit back and relax after a long productive day.

#Hokulea #Hikianalia #Malamahonua #WorldwideVoyage

For more adventure photos of the crew members, check our National Park of American Samoa Facebook page!  Enjoying a view from Vatia Bay

Enjoying a view from Vatia Bay

The Next Generation of Cultural Resource Stewards Visit Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

September 26, 2014
tudents from Wahi Kupuna at an overlook off of Chain of Craters Road in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. NPS Photo

tudents from Wahi Kupuna at an overlook off of Chain of Craters Road in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. NPS Photo

Cultural Resource Management (CRM) Specialists at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park recently took a day to share their knowledge and expertise with a group of college interns from the Wahi Kūpuna Internship Program (WKIP). The WKIP program was developed in 2010 in partnership with Kamehameha Schools and is run by the Kumupa’a Cultural Resource Consultants, LLC and Huliauapa’a, a non-profit organization. The primary goal of the internship is to increase the number of Hawaiians and kama’āina in the cultural resource management field through cultural mentoring, professional development, education, and applied field experiences. The internship exposes the students to the many different career paths within CRM and enables them to receive college credit for the course at University of Hawai‘i at Hilo or Hawai‘i Community College.

The five-week program focused on the wahi pana (sacred places) of Ka’ū, with many field trips and site visits, including a trip to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.  HAVO CRM staff were excited to share their knowledge with the students and expose them to the many different facets of cultural resource stewardship.

Students explore the Pu‘uloa Petroglyphs  in the park. NPS Photo.

Students explore the Pu‘uloa Petroglyphs in the park. NPS Photo.

Park archeologists Summer Roper and Kalena Blakemore led the students on a tour of the largest petroglyph field in Hawai’i, Pu‘uloa Petroglyphs, located within the national park. They shared the rich history of the place and also discussed what it is like to be a park archeologist. This work includes the numerous tasks that it takes to protect, preserve, record and learn from the hundreds of archeological sites located within the park.

After the petroglyphs, the students then met the park’s historic landscape architect and historic preservation specialist, Larry Frey, at the historic 1932 Administration building, located next to the Volcano House.  The 1932 Administration building is the future home of the park’s cultural museum and curatorial center. Larry took the students on a tour of the building and the surrounding grounds and discussed in detail the restoration project that will be undertaken in order to return the historic structure and landscape to its former glory. Historic preservation poses many challenges when trying to keep the historic fabric of a building intact, yet at the same time meet modern building codes and, in this case, museum standards. This was a perfect example of historic preservation work in progress for the students to learn from observe. Soon they will be able to return and see the finished product when the museum opens to the public.

Park historic preservation specialist Larry Frey discusses structures and landscapes. NPS Photo.

Park historic preservation specialist Larry Frey discusses structures and landscapes at the 1932 Administration Building. NPS Photo.

The next stop for the students was a trip down into the basement of the Headquarters building to see the archives and some of the park’s museum and art collection. Park archivist Emily Pronovost and park museum technician Kristi Ausfresser shared  examples of the park’s artifacts, original art work, archival documents, historic photos, and historic books that are housed in the park museum collection. They discussed their job of taking care of the irreplaceable objects, some of the challenges they face, and what their jobs entail: protecting items from damage by maintaining climate-controlled rooms, ordering special containers, managing insect infestation, and guarding against flooding or any other environmental concerns that can deteriorate or destroy the fragile museum objects.

Park archivist Emily Provonost shows the students examples of historic photos and documents that are in the park archives. NPS Photo.

Park archivist Emily Pronovost shows the students examples of historic photos and documents that are in the park archives. NPS Photo.

The field trip was capped off with a trip to the historic 1877 Volcano House (Volcano Art Center) and to the Jaggar Museum. The students enjoyed their day at the park and CRM staff were able to contribute to their overall understanding of the field of cultural resource management, share their knowledge and passion for what they do, and possibly help inspire a new generation of cultural resource stewards.

 

Students take a look at some of the original artwork in the park's museum collection. NPS Photo.

Students take a look at some of the original artwork in the park’s museum collection. NPS Photo.

 

USGS Lava Flow Update

September 25, 2014

The leading edge of the June 27th flow stalled over the weekend, but active breakouts persist near the flow front, a short distance behind this stalled front. Today, lava was slowly advancing on a different front, along the north margin of the flow. The burn scar from a brush fire triggered by the lava this weekend covers much of the lower portion of the photograph. (USGS)

The following photos and video were released by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS) (Dated September 24, 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.

Several skylights provided views into the June 27th lava tube today, and the fluid lava stream could be seen moving downslope. (USGS)

CLICK ON PHOTO TO WATCH VIDEO: This Quicktime movie shows an HVO geologist sampling lava on the June 27th lava flow using a rock hammer. The lava is placed into a bucket of water to quench the sample. Lava samples like this are routinely collected for chemical analysis, which provides insight into the magmatic system feeding the eruption. (USGS)

The thermal image on the right provides a different view of the flow front, and clearly shows the scattered breakouts in this area. Most of these active breakouts were at, or upslope from, the slowly advancing flow front on the north margin of the flow. The leading edge of the stalled flow front, not surprisingly, did not have any active breakouts. (USGS)

Another view of the flow front region, looking northeast. Pāhoa can be seen near the top of the photograph, and is about 3.3 km (2.1 miles) from the stalled flow front. (USGS)

A wide view from the summit, looking east. Halemaʻumaʻu Crater occupies the foreground, with the lava lake in the Overlook crater. At the skyline, Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen. The June 27th lava flow is fed from a vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with lava traveling through a lava tube to the flow front. The position of the flow front is marked by a smoke plume as the lava at the front burns vegetation. (USGS)

This comparison of a photograph with a corresponding thermal image shows a typical lobe of pāhoehoe on the June 27th lava flow. The highest surface temperatures in this image are just under 900 Celsius (1650 F), but if one measured the temperature of the lava beneath the thin crust it would be close to 1140 Celsius (2080 F). (USGS)

This map uses satellite imagery acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base image to show the area around the front of the June 27th lava flow. The flow front closest to the transfer station was inactive, but small, sluggish breakouts were scattered across the surface of the flow upslope from the stalled front. The most active breakout was advancing northeast from the north margin of the flow. Because the flow has not been advancing at its leading edge, we do not project its advance at this time. (USGS)

This large-scale map shows the distal part of the June 27th flow in relation to nearby Puna communities. The black dots mark the flow front on specific dates. The latitude and longitude of the most-active, slowly advancing breakout on September 24 was 19.473080, -154.981264 (Decimal degrees; WGS84). The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Down-slope path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map indicate approximate flow path directions. (USGS)

This small-scale map shows the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone in relation to lower Puna. The area of the flow on September 19, 2014, at 11:45 AM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on September 24 at 10:45 AM is shown in red. The distal tip of the flow was inactive, but small breakouts were scattered across the surface of the flow from just behind the front to about 4 km (2.5 miles) upslope. The most active of these breakouts was advancing northeast from the north edge of the flow about 750 m (820 yards) back from the stalled front, but was fairly weak. It was 15.7 km (9.8 miles) straight-line distance from the vent. The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM). For an explanation of down-slope path calculations, see: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/. Down-slope path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map indicate approximate flow path directions. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the lava tube. (USGS)

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