New Maps Show Lava Flow in Relation to Places

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to lower Puna.

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Click to enlarge

The area of the flow on May 21 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of June 4 is shown in red.

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/).

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Click to enlarge

Steepest-descent 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 can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the active lava tube

Big Island Press Club Luncheon on Grassroot Institute’s Transparency Initiative

The Big Island Press Club invites the public to a luncheon talk on Thursday, June 18, from noon until 1:30 p.m. at Restaurant Kenichi to hear about The Grassroot Institute’s Transparency Initiative.

Keli'i Akina

Keli’i Akina

The Grassroot Institute’s transparency initiative has broken new ground in shedding a light on holding government in Hawaii accountable. Through a series of open records requests, and with the help of the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, and the Office of Information Practices, Grassroot President Keli’i Akina and policy analyst Joe Kent will review the work that Grassroot Institute has done for a better government, economy, and society in Hawaii.

Joe Kent

Joe Kent

Grassroot has been able to uncover amazing information, which will be uploaded for journalists and the public at OpenHawaii.org.

Among the findings:

  • The top ten highest state public pensions for retirees last year.
  • The average pension and base salary for every state department.
  • The salaries, overtime, and bonus pay, and other information for every county.

The Grassroot Institute also will share the struggles with attempting to advance transparency in Hawaii, especially with regard to Hawaii County, which has been one of the least transparent counties in terms of salary and overtime pay. In addition, the speakers will review their transparency work with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Employee Retirement System, among other agencies.

“A society built on democracy rests on an informed public. Now more than ever, it’s important that we say “E Hana Kakou let’s work together,” toward an open and transparent government.,” Akina said.

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a nonprofit 501(c)3 public policy think tank, dedicated to advancing individual liberty, the freemarket, and limited, accountable government.

Reservations are required. The cost of the buffet lunch (chicken katsu, furikake panko salmon, yakisoba, salad, vegetable, beverage) at Restaurant Kenichi, 684 Kilauea Ave., Hilo, is $20.

Register with a credit card at https://bipcgrassrootinstitute.eventbrite.com ($2.09 processing fee) or contact Robert Duerr surf77@mac.com or 808-937-9104.   Those interested may also send check to BIPC P. O. Box 1920, Hilo HI 96721, to arrive no later than June 16. Parking is available at Aupuni Center, across the street, for 25 cents per hour.

The Big Island Press Club has been dedicated to journalism and the public’s right to know about the workings of government, business and communities on Hawaii island since 1967.

Hawaii Climate Change Adaptation Committee Begins Work

Hawaii Climate Adaptation

ICAC Video News Release 6-5-15 from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

The Hawaii State Legislature identified climate change as one of the most urgent and long-term threats to the State’s economy, sustainability, security and way of life over the next century.  In 2014 it passed Act 83 in order to address the effects of climate change.  Act 83 also established the Interagency Climate Adaptation Committee (ICAC), with representatives from more than a dozen state and county agencies. The ICAC is tasked with developing a statewide Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Report (SLR Report) to the legislature by the end of 2017. The committee held its first meeting this week on June 3.

Rep. Chris Lee, chair of the Hawaii House of Representatives Energy & Environment Committee was one of the lawmakers instrumental in the passage of Act 83.  He said, “Hawaii, as the only island state in the U.S., is among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise, yet we were one of the few coastal states that had not adopted a statewide climate adaptation plan.  Act 83 and the ICAC changes this.”

The DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) will lead the development of the SLR Report in coordination with the ICAC.  Sam Lemmo, OCCL Administrator said, “ The SLR Report will serve as the framework to address other climate-related threats and climate change adaptation priorities, ultimately leading to a Climate Adaptation Plan for the State, which will be prepared by the State Office of Planning. Over the next two and a half years we will meet regularly, engage climate change experts, and keep the citizens of Hawaii informed of our progress and recommendations to combat the negative impacts of sea level rise and other climate change threats.”

One of the experts being engaged is Dr. Chip Fletcher of the University of Hawaii’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). Dr. Fletcher is a climate change scientist, who works on predictive models which visually depict the impacts of sea level rise along Hawaii coastlines.  He presented his latest findings at the first meeting of the ICAC.  Dr. Fletcher explained, “Rising sea levels, exacerbated by stronger storms, will increase coastal flooding and erosion.  It will damage coastal ecosystems and infrastructure and affect tourism, agriculture, military bases and other industries. This is on top of the impacts of higher sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification.”

DLNR Chairperson Suzanne Case co-chairs the ICAC with the director of the State Office of Planning.  She commented, “The work of the ICAC is among the highest priority work we will do over the next few years.  Beach erosion, drought, coral bleaching and rising ocean temperatures are already having measurable impacts on Hawaii and are expected to accelerate in coming years.  These threats include impacts to our host culture, including impacts to coastal artifacts and structures and reduced availability of traditional food sources and subsistence fisheries.”

Puna Lava Flow Still Active

Scattered breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

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Click to enlarge

On yesterday’s overflight, breakouts were active as far as 8 km (5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Some of this activity was at the forest boundary, burning vegetation. This narrow lobe, one of several active on the flow field today, traveled over earlier Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava (light brown) to reach the forest boundary.

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Click to enlarge

Activity at Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains relatively steady. This photograph looks towards the southwest, and shows outgassing from numerous areas in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. On the far side of the crater, the small circular pit (right of center) had a small lava pond that was too deep to see from this angle.

As shown in the May 21 field photos, the small forested cone of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa has been slowly buried by flows over the past several months.

hvo154All that remains today are narrow portions of the rim standing above the lava.

Recent lava on the June 27th flow cascaded over the overhanging rim of this collapse pit on an earlier portion of the flow field.

Recent lava on the June 27th flow cascaded over the overhanging rim of this collapse pit on an earlier portion of the flow field.

Summit activity continues in Halemaʻumaʻu

A wide view of the northern portion of Kīlauea Caldera, on an exceptionally clear day.

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Click to enlarge

HVO and Jaggar Museum can be seen as the light-colored spot on the caldera rim. Mauna Loa is in the distance.

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Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, looking west. Click to enlarge

The dark area on the crater floor consists of recent overflows from the Overlook crater. The Overlook crater is near the left edge of the photo, and a portion of the active lava lake surface can be seen below the rim.