The following photos and videos were released by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS). 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). Enjoy the photos and videos!
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park works with dozens of film and still photo crews each year, everything from documentaries, fashion magazines, breaking news , and motion pictures. One of the most memorable and unusual productions was the Ultraman Hawai‘i shoot earlier this year – a promotion by Hawai‘i Tourism Japan (HTJ) with the famous Ultraman superhero characters to encourage Japanese travel to Hawai‘i. HTJ launched the ad campaign yesterday, so we can now share a few “behind the scenes” shots on location here in the park:
Hawaii Tourism Japan kicked off their campaign with a press conference, and uploaded it to YouTube:
Domo arigato and best wishes for a successful campaign to the Ultraman Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i Tourism Japan folks. What a fun day!
Months before the Kamoamoa eruption began, lava output from Kīlauea’s long-lived East Rift Zone eruption, ongoing since 1983, had started to wane. This was coupled with uplift and increased seismicity at the volcano’s summit and at Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Moreover, the lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, active at the summit since 2008, started to slowly rise. Lava flows also began to erupt within Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater.
The sudden onset of seismic tremor and elevated earthquake activity along Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone at 1:42 p.m., HST, on March 5, 2011, signaled the start of a magmatic intrusion uprift from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Rapid deflation started at Puʻu ʻŌʻō at almost the same time and at Kīlauea’s summit about 30 minutes later. Shortly afterward, most of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater floor began to subside, dropping 113 m (371 ft) in about 4 hours. Almost simultaneously, the lava lake at Kīlauea’s summit began to drain, falling about 143 m (469 ft) before stabilizing.
The Kamoamoa eruption began at 5:09 p.m., when lava reached the surface about 2 km (1.2 mi) southwest of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, forming a 1-km-long (0.6-mi-long) eruptive fissure. A second 1-km-long (0.6-mi-long) fissure opened early on March 6 farther to the southwest. These two fissures, designated as “eastern” and “western” fissures, were separated by 360 m (0.2 mi) of heavily cracked ground.
The eruption was initially sporadic, and activity migrated from one spot to another along both fissures and repeatedly started and stopped. On March 8, however, the eruption became focused near the western end of the western fissure and began to feed a fast-moving channelized ʻaʻā flow that bowled over ʻōhiʻa trees like matchsticks as it advanced downslope.
This activity continued unabated overnight, but late in the afternoon on March 9, the western fissure began to wane and finally shut down at about 10:30 p.m. that night, marking the end of the Kamoamoa eruption. The channelized ʻaʻā flow stalled soon afterward, having reached a total length of 3.3 km (2.1 mi).
Altogether, approximately 2.7 million cubic meters (3.5 million cubic yards) of lava erupted, and eruptive sulfur dioxide emissions averaged 8,500 tonnes/day—several times higher than Kīlauea’s normal East Rift Zone output at that time. The summit of Kīlauea dropped about 15 cm (6 in) over the course of the eruption, and the East Rift Zone at the eruption site spread apart by about 3 m (10 ft).
The Kamoamoa eruption was probably a result of the gradual shutdown of the previous East Rift Zone vent—the episode 58 vent—with no slow-down in the amount of lava entering the rift zone. This led to the pressurization of Kīlauea’s magma system, which was manifested as inflation at the summit and at Puʻu ʻŌʻō, spreading of the East Rift Zone, increased seismicity along the upper East Rift Zone, and rising lava levels within both the summit vent and Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater.
The pressurization culminated in the Kamoamoa fissure eruption, which diverted magma from beneath Puʻu ʻŌʻō and Kīlauea’s summit, thereby causing Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor to collapse and the summit lava lake to drain, respectively. Once the excess pressure had dissipated, the pressure gradient between the summit and the East Rift Zone fissure was insufficient to sustain the eruption, and the Kamoamoa eruption stopped.
Afterwards, the pressure climbed within Kīlauea’s magma storage areas and transport pathways as the supply of magma to the volcano continued unchanged. This renewed pressure led to the reappearance of the summit lava lake and eventually restarted eruptive activity at Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which remained the easiest pathway for magma to reach the surface.
Because of the excellent geological, geophysical, and geochemical monitoring of Kīlauea, progressions in eruptive activity, like those observed prior to the Kamoamoa eruption, can likely be recognized months in advance of any shifts in eruption style and/or location. At the moment, no such precursory activity is apparent.
Visit the HVO website (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov) for current Kīlauea, Mauna Loa, and Hualālai activity updates, recent volcano photos, recent earthquakes, and more; call (808) 967-8862 for a Kīlauea summary; email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov.
Volcano Watch (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/) is a weekly article and activity update written by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey`s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
Park rangers at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park have clever ways of demonstrating their point. Ranger Jay uses cola & mint candy to demonstrate what happens when a lot of lava is erupted through a narrow vent, like the Mauna Ulu eruption of 1969-1974. Scientists call this “tight constriction.” We call it time to stand back!
Ranger Jay used this fun and easy technique in a training session for the park’s commercial tour operators on location at Mauna Ulu. This famous eruption of Kīlauea is one of the most important eruptions for the insight it provided geologists on what typically happens during a rift zone eruption: earthquakes, towering fountains of lava, fissures , massive amounts of red-hot cinders known as tephra, and the formation of a lava shield. It’s still a fascinating place to explore and hike! Download the Mauna Ulu guide on the park website and plan your own excursion.
Throughout “National Women’s History Month” (March) we’ll be highlighting some of the extraordinary women that have shaped the history of our Pacific Islands. Some of these women were of royal blood and made changes from the highest places of power, but today we’ll be taking a quick look at someone who was at the very bottom of American society of her time.
Betsey Stockton, born in 1798, was a slave of the president of Princeton, was freed and later commissioned as a missionary to the “Sandwich Islands” (the name then given to Hawaii). When she told of her desire to be a missionary, her master gave her her freedom and she was accepted as a member of the American Board of Commissions for Foreign Missionaries. Arriving in 1823 with the 2nd Company of Protestant missionaries from New England, she went on to found the very first school for commoners (on Maui), teaching history, English, Latin and algebra. She is believed to have been the very first single woman and first African American woman to reside in Hawaii.
Although she did not stay very long in Hawaii, this school that she helped start was the beginning of public education in Hawaii. Her story is just one of countless women who have influenced these islands.
A new National Park Service report shows that 10,440 visitors to the National Park of American Samoa in 2012 spent $562,800 in villages near the park. That spending supported seven jobs in the local area.
“The National Park of American Samoa is proud to welcome visitors from around the world,” said Superintendent Jim Bacon. “We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides and to use the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the South Pacific and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy—returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service—and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of the villages and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey Economist Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in the gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.
According to the report most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels, and B&Bs (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).
To download the report visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscienc /economics.cfm. This report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about the National Park of American Samoa and how the National Park Service works with the American Samoa villages to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to http://www.nps.gov/americansamoa.
Every year, Fred Liederbach and his five kids give their mom, Kathy a birthday gift of something in the quantity of her age. This February 27th, she turned 56 so she expected something in the the quantity of 56, but she didn’t know what.
Read more about the story, the surprise, and emotions shared by her husband Fred!
“… Kathy is a school teacher and she works about 10 miles north of our town of Petoskey. The secret P.O. box in the tiny village of Oden is in between her school and our town, so I had arranged to have Kathy’s friend, who she carpools with, pull into the Oden post office on their way home after school. It was a bright sunny day, but crisp and cold, probably about 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Our 10 year old daughter, Sarah, and I were waiting at the post office when Kathy and her friend arrived, and we went out into the parking lot when we saw them. We handed Kathy the keys to the box and told her to go inside and walk straight ahead. I had taped a cartoon from the Frank and Ernest comic strip on the box – Frank and Ernest shaped as the numbers 5 and 6. That made it easy for Kathy to find box 56!
Well, she opened the box and, needless to say, was surprised to find a huge pile of postcards addressed to her. The first several she looked at had different states’ names on them, and puzzled, Kathy commented that there aren’t 56 states. She started counting and when she found the Washington DC card she counted it too, so I stopped her and asked if DC is a state. She said no, and I suggested she start a separate pile. Soon she found the America Samoa card followed by the other territories, and when she had finished she understood why there were 56 postcards: 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia!
More than any other emotion, Kathy seemed fascinated. She hadn’t read the notes so she wasn’t as touched as she would be later, and she wasn’t completely surprised – she knew we’d have something in store. But she was fascinated – she wondered how Sarah and I, and our older children, could have arranged all that. I explained how the American Samoa card was probably the trickiest because I didn’t know anyone from there, and how helpful the goods folks at the National Park of American Samoa had been. There are some very touching notes in the collection from our older kids and their friends, extended family members, and dear old friends. So it’s hard to pick a favorite postcard, but the American Samoa card is definitely one of our favorites. The wonderful, festive picture on the front and the fun notes from the staff on the back make it a real treasure for us.”