Lava Flow Advance Rate Increases

The June 27 flow front has advanced more rapidly over the past four days, and is now 4.2 km (2.6 miles) from the vent.

This recent increased advance rate is due to the confinement of the flow against the slopes of an older perched lava channel, from 2007.

This recent increased advance rate is due to the confinement of the flow against the slopes of an older perched lava channel, from 2007.

The advance rate will likely drop in the coming days as the flow passes the confines of the perched channel and spreads out on flatter topography.

Another view of the front of the June 27 flow, looking northeast.

Another view of the front of the June 27 flow, looking northeast.

The flow front has narrowed as it has been confined against the slopes of the 2007 perched lava channel, and this is associated with a higher advance rate of the flow front over the past four days.

View, looking southwest, of Puʻu ʻŌʻō and the new perched lava pond. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is the fume-filled crater in the top half of the image.

 This perched lava pond is now inactive, but the June 27 flows continue to advance towards the northeast (see other photos).

This perched lava pond is now inactive, but the June 27 flows continue to advance towards the northeast (see other photos).

The circular feature in the lower portion of the photograph is the perched lava pond active earlier this month, which was fed by the June 27 lava flow.

Visual-thermal comparison of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, looking west. In the normal photograph on the left, large portions of the crater floor are obscured by thick volcanic fume.

The thermal image on the right can "see" through this fume, revealing features in the crater.

The thermal image on the right can “see” through this fume, revealing features in the crater.

Over the past month, a large portion of the crater floor has subsided. Within this triangular subsidence area, three small lava ponds were active today. Two are visible in this thermal image, while a third (near the South lava pond) is blocked by a steep wall from this angle.

Wordless Wednesday – Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater at Dawn

A time-lapse camera on the rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater captured this image at dawn.

NPS Timelapse Photo

NPS Timelapse Photo

The view is towards the southeast, and shows two glowing pits in the southern portion of the crater floor. Overflight the next day showed that these pits are filled with small lava ponds.

UH Hilo Trio Receive Scholarship Honors

Three University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo students, including a pair of incoming freshmen, are among the 2014 recipients of two prestigious UH System scholarships.

UH Hilo Moniker

Brenna Usher and Ashley Laybon received the Regents Scholarship, which is awarded to 20 outstanding freshmen who earn minimum combined scores of 1950 on all three sections of the SAT test or 29 on the ACT, maintain at least a 3.5 GPA in academic subjects in high school, and whose extracurricular achievements are shown to be remarkable.

Usher, a Hilo High School graduate from Kea’au, maintained a 3.70 GPA and will major in Linguistics. Laybon, who will major in Biology, graduated from Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama, where she earned a 3.91 GPA.

Kendra Fujioka of Kurtistown is among this year’s recipients of the Presidential Scholarship, presented to 10 college juniors with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.7 for all college-level work, a record of sustained progress in academic courses, and evidence of superior academic achievement or creative endeavor.

Fujioka graduated from Hilo High School in 2012 with a 4.03 GPA and has maintained a 3.91 GPA at UH Hilo. She enters the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in the fall.

Both awards include full tuition waivers and $4,000 a year for the length of the scholarship, along with a one-time travel grant of $2,000. The Regents Scholarship is a four-year award, while the Presidential Scholarship is for two years.

Mauna Loa Access Road Receives Funding for Reconstruction

$802,500 for reconstruction of 2.3 miles of Mauna Loa Observatory Road

Road projects on federal lands in four states will receive $3.04 million from the Federal Highway Administration to improve access to public lands, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced today.

Highway Funds

“The roads that carry America to and through its national forests and parks, tribal lands and other federal lands need help, just like the rest of our nation’s highway system,” said Secretary Foxx. “These funds are an important investment to rehabilitate roads vital to preserving the high quality of life for the communities they serve.”

The funds, which come from the FHWA’s Public Lands Highways Discretionary program, will reconstruct the road to an observatory in Hawaii critical to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In addition, the funds will help make improvements to parking facilities and trails in Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest, and to rebuild nearly four miles of Montana’s SH 569 and four miles of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) roads near Tellico Plains, Tenn.

“At a time when states are facing serious budgetary challenges, these grants will help fill a critical need,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “Investments like these are immediate, long-lasting and will help create jobs.”

Unlike most of the nation’s public roads, which are managed by state departments of transportation, federal lands roads are maintained by various tribal and federal agencies. Funds from the Public Lands Highways Discretionary program supplement their existing infrastructure programs. They can also be used for cities and counties that are responsible for the roads providing access to federal and tribal lands.

Importantly, the Administration’s surface transportation reauthorization proposal, the GROW AMERICA Act, would build on current support for public and tribal lands, including creating a new program to support construction, reconstruction, or rehabilitation of large, nationally significant transportation infrastructure within or accessing federal or tribal lands, including national parks and forests.