Rockfall Triggers Explosive Event at Halema’uma’u

Just after 10 AM this morning, the southeastern wall of the Overlook crater, in Halemaʻumaʻu, collapsed and fell into the summit lava lake.

This image is a still taken from the webcam positioned on the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu at that location, showing spatter in the air directly in front of the camera.

This image is a still taken from the webcam positioned on the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu at that location, showing spatter in the air directly in front of the camera.

This triggered a small explosive event that threw spatter bombs onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu at the site of the tourist overlook, closed since 2008.

The lava fragments ejected ranged in size from dust-sized particles up to spatter bombs about 70 cm (~30 inches) across.

The larger clasts – the bombs – dotted the ground around the tourist overlook and webcam, giving the area a look reminiscent of a cow pasture.

The larger clasts – the bombs – dotted the ground around the tourist overlook and webcam, giving the area a look reminiscent of a cow pasture.

As has been seen with almost all previous explosive events at Halemaʻumaʻu since 2008, the spatter that was ejected was coated in dust and filled with small lithic fragments – clear evidence of the involvement of lithic wall rock.

The knife is 12 cm (4.5 in) long.

The knife is 12 cm (4.5 in) long.

Spatter landed on wooden fencing laying on the ground at the closed tourist overlook, igniting it in a few places.

hvo87

The part of the Overlook crater wall that collapsed is evident in the center of this photo by its white color.

hvo88

Meet Lava – Hawaii’s Tweeting Two-Colored-Faced Cat

Ok… well every once in a while I come across something pretty strange.  Tonight I think I out did myself.  Meet “Lava” the Tweeting Two-Colored-Face Cat from Honolulu, Hawaii:

Lava's Twitter "Profile" picture

Lava’s Twitter “Profile” picture

Lava tweets about everything a normal cat would… things like the thing she tweeted today:
Lava Tweet 1Lava bills herself as a “Hot Hawaiian Adventure Cat” and seems to live quite the lifestyle:
Lava Tweet 2The owner of the cat said that she named her “Lava” because she looked like lava pouring.  You can check out her entire series of tweets here @ohmylava.

Her first tweets were on Valentines day.

Her first tweets were on Valentines day.

She is only followed by 54 folks at this time… but I expect her to soon beat out Justin Bieber for followers… LOL!

Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory Reports New Crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

New crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

The "June 27 breakout" flow starts near the left side of the photo, marked by thin bluish fume.

The “June 27 breakout” flow starts near the left side of the photo, marked by thin bluish fume.  The view is toward the east.

Since the onset of the “June 27 breakout” flow, the central part of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater has been collapsing slowly. Thick fume and steam prevented good views, but this photo shows the edge of the ring fracture that bounds the collapse. The heavy fume comes from pits that formed where spatter cones used to be.

Perhaps the most interesting feature in the new crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō is the pit formed on the southern side of the crater floor.

View to the East

View is to the south

There, a small lava pond roughly 10 m (~30 ft) across has been sporadically overflowing and sending lava toward the deeper central part of the crater.

Inactive perched lava pond and the new lava tube

After the June 27 breakout started, a perched lava pond – looking something like a giant above-ground swimming pool – grew over the main vent.

The view is toward the southeast

The view is toward the southeast

Notice the nearly flat upper surface of the now-inactive pond just above and to the left of center, and the relatively steep levee which contained the pond. The pond was abandoned after lava broke from a new spot near the west edge of the pond. That flow has begun constructing a lava tube, its trace marked by the fume to the right of the perched pond.

Here is steeper view of the inactive lava pond, just left of center. After it was abandoned, its surface crusted over and sagged to form a gentle bowl.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at upper right. The view is toward the south-southeast.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at upper right. The view is toward the south-southeast.

Skylights and points of fume just right of center mark the trace of the new tube.

Terminus of new flow near Kahaualeʻa

View is toward the southwest, and Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at upper right.

View is toward the southwest, and Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at upper right.

The front of the “June 27 breakout” flow, seen here as the silvery lava at lower right, is about 2.0 km (~1.2 miles) northeast from its vent (as measured in a straight line), and surrounds what little remains of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa, a forested cone several hundred years old.
Here is a closer view showing the beleaguered Puʻu Kahaualeʻa surrounded by active Pāhoehoe flows.
The view is to the northwest

The view is to the northwest

Lizard Talk at Lyman Museum

Among the many immigrants to reach Hawaiian shores are certain members of the reptilian Order Squamata (which includes lizards and snakes).  A variety of lizards have arrived with people through the years and made their homes in Hawai`i.  In addition to the several species of geckos which most of us here know well, and which have been in the Islands the longest, there are species of skinks, anoles, iguanas, and chameleons that have also established themselves as colonists.

My dog freaking out on a Jackson Chameleon

My dog freaking out on a Jackson Chameleon

On Monday, August 25, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Lyman Museum, Dr. William Mautz pulls back the foliage to look at these special creatures: their habits and habitats, how and when they came to Hawai`i, and prospects for a future in which other immigrant lizards may gain a toehold.  Dr. Mautz is a professor of biology at UH-Hilo, where he teaches and conducts research on the physiology and ecology of amphibians and reptiles.

The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum showcases the natural and cultural history of Hawai`i.  Located in historic downtown Hilo at 276 Haili Street, the Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  For more information, call (808) 935-5021 or visit www.lymanmuseum.org.

Football-Sized Rocks Cause Several Traffic Accidents in Hilo

Hawaiʻi Island police responded to several traffic accidents in Hilo around 2 a.m. Thursday (July 17) involving damage to vehicles from striking football-size rocks on the roadway.

Fallin RockThree of the accidents were on Hawaiʻi Belt Highway (Route 19) near ʻAlae Cemetery and one was on Haihai Street.

Police are asking motorists to use caution when driving during the early morning hours especially with limited visibility due to rain.

The public is asked to report any suspicious activity by calling the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

The Elders Headline Pillars of Peace Hawaii Events

Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i to host peace leaders Gro Harlem Brundtland, Hina Jilani, and Desmond Tutu in a series of community events.

Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i, an initiative of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, will host three preeminent global leaders from The Elders from August 29-31. While in Honolulu, they will engage in a series of exchanges with the people of Hawai‘i on peace, compassion, and ethical leadership. The Pillars of Peace Hawaii program was established in part to inspire our community to cultivate empathy, mindfulness and justice in our daily lives and better understand the roles of diversity and culture in the practice of peace.

Elders

The Elders include former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the World Health Organization, Gro Harlem Brundtland; renowned lawyer, pro-democracy campaigner and Pakistani women’s movement leader Hina Jilani; and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate, veteran anti-apartheid activist and peace campaigner.

This is the first time that representatives of The Elders will engage Hawai‘i. The community will have the unique opportunity to listen to this world-renowned group of leaders in a public forum entitled “A Just and Inclusive Global Community,” on Sunday, August 31, 4:00 p.m. at the Hawai‘i Convention Center’s Lili‘u Theater. Tickets for the public presentation will be available for purchase at http://pillarsofpeacehawaii.org/schedule-tickets-the-elders on August 1st. Student tickets are $12 and general public tickets are $20; both include validated parking at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

There will also be an opportunity for selected Hawai‘i students to attend a special Student Leaders Program, “Leaders Make the Future: the Wisdom of Elders and Youngers.” The student leaders will be chosen to attend by their schools’ administrators or teachers. Other areas of discussion during the Elders’ visit to Hawai‘i include climate change and ethical leadership.

“We are honored to have such an esteemed group of leaders come to Hawai‘i to share their global experiences and perspectives on peace issues,” said Kelvin H. Taketa, President and CEO of Hawai‘i Community Foundation. “Their visit will enable us, in turn, to share our approach to peace, influenced by the spirit of aloha and our community that merges numerous cultural influences.”

The Elders is an independent group of global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007; they use their collective wisdom, experience, and influence to support peace building, address major causes of human suffering, and promote the shared interests of humanity.

Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General, currently chairs The Elders. Archbishop Tutu served for six years as Chair and remains an Honorary Elder. Using its members’ collective experiences and insights, the group promotes universal human rights and peace. For more information on The Elders, please visit http://www.theelders.org/.

The Elders’ visit is part of “Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha,” an initiative of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation launched in 2012. The program’s events aim to spark conversations about the roles of compassion, diversity, and culture in the practice of peace. Highlighting Hawai‘i’s culture and its spirit of aloha, the program also positions Hawai‘i as a leading voice for peace. Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i is funded by the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation and other partners. For more information on this initiative, please visit http://pillarsofpeacehawaii.org/.

About Hawai‘i Community Foundation

The Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF), with 98 years of community service, is the leading philanthropic institution in the state. The Foundation is a steward of over 650 funds, including more than 190 scholarship funds, created by donors who desire to transform lives and improve communities. In 2013, $43 million in grants and contracts were distributed by HCF statewide, including $4 million in scholarships. The HCF also serves as a resource on community issues and trends in the nonprofit sector. For more information on HCF, please visit http://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/.

Man Seriously Injured Skydiving at Pacific Skydiving

Pacific Skydiving had another skydiving incident today that sent a person to the hospital.

Whoops!

Whoops!

According to a skydiver on the scene it was “…totally preventable with proper instruction. This is why you should trust professionals, not a bunch of poser skydivers…The guy stalled his canopy from 100ft and held toggles buried pretty much until he hit. No PLF, no training, straight to the hospital.”

Didn't walk away!

Didn’t walk away!

Pacific Skydiving has had a few mishaps sending skydivers to the hospital over the years.

Skydiving incident as Pacific Skydive

Skydiving incident as Pacific Skydive

As of this write-up there has been no release on the condition of the skydiver.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 16-Year-Old Girl Who Is Here on Vacation

7/13/14 UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located a 16-year-old California girl who was reported missing in Kona.  Jasmine Keilani of San Diego was found unharmed in Kona on Saturday night (July 12).

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 16-year-old California girl who was reported missing.

Jasmine Keilani

Jasmine Keilani

Jasmine Keilani of San Diego was vacationing with family in Kona. She was last seen Tuesday morning (July 8) on Aliʻi Drive in Kailua-Kona.

She is described as 5-foot-5, 125 pounds with brown eyes and brown shoulder-length hair with blond tips. She was last seen wearing a tie-dyed top with faded denim shorts.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

United 777 Diverts to Remote Pacific Island After Burning Smell Reported

A United Boeing 777 diverted to the tiny Pacific island of Midway last night after a burning smell filled the plane while it flew over one of the most remote places on earth.

Stranded Plane

The airline will only say it was a mechanical issue. But this may have been a fairly serious incident. No one was hurt but those on board had the scare of their lives, says Teresita Smith from Maryland, who was traveling on board with 25 family members.

“The smell was getting stronger…it smelled like something burning,” she told ABC News in a phone interview today from Honolulu.

The departure had originally been delayed in Honolulu because of the odor but was cleared for takeoff for the eight-hour flight to Guam after about three hours, she said.

And then five hours into the flight the smell returned. “In the back section of the plane alarms were going off,” Smith said. Then after the pilot announced the plane would be diverting to Midway, the power seemed to go out and the plane dropped precipitously. “It was very scary,” she said. “It shook a lot of people up.”

More here: United 777 Diverts to Remote Pacific Island After Burning Smell Reported

Commentary – If You Are Reading This Letter… I Am Either in Jail or On My Way

Commentary:

If you are reading this letter… I am either in jail or on my way. Please read…

On June 18, 2014 I was sentenced as the last defendant in the Roger Christie THC Ministry Federal conspiracy case also known as the “Green 14”. Before my guilty plea to a minor distribution charge I was the only remaining defendant that had refused to make a deal. I was waiting to go to trial with Roger when he finally decided to make a deal to plead to conspiracy with time served and allowing for his RFRA motion to be appealed in the 9th circuit.

Until that day in June I had been on “pre-trial” release, a supervised release on a $25,000 signature bond. For the previous 4 years since my arrest. Conditions set forth banned me from using my State certified Medical Marijuana that I used to treat my debilitating condition from a rare tropical disease called esenophilic meningitis a.k.a. “rat lung worm” a devastating infection of nematodes that cross the blood-brain barrier and infected my head/brain. I have suffered nerve damage, brain damage, neuropathy and chronic pain and stiffness 24/7.

I was subjected to over 100 drug tests over the last four year with ZERO positive results. All the while I was allowed to use the dangerous narcotic Percoet, Xanax and Nortriptiline. I had tried every other possible medication the list too long. My disease is know to be so heinous because there is NO cure or treatment available. Cannabis helped tremendously but the Feds said no. I suffered for 4 years.

I motioned the court to take a legal substitute Marinol but I was initially denied and offered to take another THC-like medication that would not test positive as THC. The drug test cannot differentiate between the two, was the US attorney Kuwahara’s contention. Well is was all a ruse. That medication was not available in Hawaii, the cost was $1,400-$1,700 a month, my insurance would NOT cover it AND pharmacies would not order such an expensive medication without payment up front.

This left me zero choice but Marinol. Thy prosecution said I could get Cesamet at Walgreens, this was patently untrue. I was denied. My inept lawyer, whom I fired later for “not zealously defending” me (Quote from Judge Kobiashi at hearing)

I suffered greatly those 4 years. Fearful that a civil disobedience by myself to take the only non-toxic, dangerous medicine because I was facing a 5 year mandatory minimum in Federal prison. I decided to readdress the issue after I had the charges reduced or was acquitted at trial.

I forced the US attorney to drop the conspiracy charges that I WAS NOT PART OF and they stipulated, in writing that I was not. My sentencing guidelines put me at 0-6 months with -3 years possible probation. I was sentenced to ZERO time, given 2 years probation with the possibility it be done in one if I was all good. In the sentencing report it stated I could not posses or use marijuana or any other form of THC UNLESS… get this, unless approved by my probation officer! Wow I thought, finally relief at the end of this nightmare tunnel.

Upon leaving the courtroom the supervisor/deputy probation officer told me that there was NO WAY I would be allowed to use my MMJ or LEGAL Marinol. He said “they never have, never will.” I stated that it was up to the probation officer on the Big Island, my home. He said that there was NO WAY the Big Island PO would allow it…they never have and never will.

I was at an impasse…I could no longer continue to digest Percocet and Ibuprofen daily, it has put me in great danger and risk because of their inherent toxicity on the liver, kidneys and stomach. I was no longer facing a minimum 5 year sentence only 0-6 months. Judge Kobayashi told me that she gave me 2 years probation instead of 1 “just in case I had any ‘bumps’ along the way”. Well here is the first bump.

I received another prescription for Marinol from my doctor and had it filled (paid cash because Medicaid would not pay) I took my legally prescribed medication. I found relief… FINALLY!
The next day I had to report to my PO for the first time oat home on the Big Island. Officer Jenkins informed me that he would not honor my legal MMJ blue card OR allow me my legal Marinol (too late for that) I tested positive for THC. He was not happy. I told him of my legal script, he cared less. He told me if the test came back confirmed as THC he would revoke my probation!

Nine days later the UA returned from the lab Positive for THC with no differentiation between marijuana and Marinol. My PO said he was going to revoke me. I told him thank you and shook his hand. Today the 8th of June I return to the testing facility for another UA. I have continued o take my Marinol. In fact, as it turned out the insurance DID approve my Marinol. I went to Wal-Mart and picked up a second bottle that was twice the potency/milligrams as the first. Today I will test positive again for my legal script… again.

I have had multiple Constitutional violations committed against me PLUS a few ADA violations since I am disabled and receive Federal SSI benefits. I cannot wait to be on the other side of a revocation hearing waiting for the machine to spit me out all over again. I have prepared a brief, pro se and am going to file suit against the feds, the probation department, my PO, his supervisor and the deputy chief of probation for the district of Hawaii.

I was denied due process on many levels, I have been discriminated, the decision to not allow me to use medicine that others ARE allowed to use (including other federal probationers…(see U.S. V.Steele Smith ). Also, this treatment is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment. I will no longer lay down and suffer, I will stand up for my rights and the rights of all others who face similar treatment by the Federal government.

Please help me in any ,and all ways possible. I need financial assistance with costs ensured with filing fees, transportation to and from Honolulu, as much media and press as possible including blogs, posts, internet news and social media.

Aaron Zeeman

Aaron Zeeman

Thank you and Aloha, Aaron Zeeman (aaronzeeman@yahoo.com)

Breakout Lava Flow Kahauale’a 2 Now Dead

The June 27 breakout building a lava shield near Puʻu ʻŌʻō; Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is now dead.

The June 27 breakout initially produced a channelized lava flow that reached Puʻu Kahaualeʻa (about 1.5 km, or 0.9 miles, from the vent) during the first day, but over the past two days the surface flows have retreated closer to the vent, building a lava shield (visible just above the center of the photograph).

This comparison of the normal photograph with a thermal image shows the extent of the lava shield clearly. The lava shield is visible as the area of high temperatures (hot colors) in the thermal image. Corresponding spots are marked with small arrows for reference. The initial channelized flow that reached Puʻu Kahaualeʻa during the first day is inactive now, but still slightly warm.

Another look at the lava shield formed from lava erupting from the June 27 vent. The shield consists of a broad, and relatively flat, top with multiple narrow streams of lava flowing down the sides.

A view of the lava shield with the thermal camera.

The lava pond in the northeast portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. A lava pond has existed here for months, but it enlarged considerably during lava level drop and collapses that occurred with the start of the June 27 breakout. Today, the lava pond was about 35 meters (yards) across, and seven meters (yards) below the rim
A view from the ground of the lava pond in the northeast portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. Note the layering exposed in the wall above the pond surface.

View of the wall above the lava pond in the northeast portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The lava pond surface is in the lower portion of the photograph. The dark hole in the upper part of the photograph is the truncated entrance to the lava tube that had been supplying lava to the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. With the lava level well below the entrance to the lava tube, lava is no longer flowing into the tube and the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is now inactive. The lava tube here is about 2 meters (yards) wide.

A closer view of the entrance to the lava tube that had been supplying the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow.

This Quicktime movie shows activity in the lava pond in the northeast portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. A lava pond has been here for months, but it enlarged considerably during the June 27 breakout as the lava level in the pond dropped.

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is dead

Until recently, surface flows were active in this portion of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, triggering small brush fires and creating smoke plumes. With the opening of new vents on June 27, the supply of lava into the Kahaualeʻa 2 tube was shut off (see photos of the tube above). There were no active surface flows anywhere on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow today.

Little Fire Ants Invade Hawaii – State Wasting Money Trying to Eradicate Them

Well the Little Fire Ants have now spread statewide here in Hawaii… don’t expect the State to protect you or your pets.

little fire antThe amount of money that the State of Hawaii is wasting on Little Fire Ants and attempting to control them is amazing.  Those of us that live in Puna know that you can’t get rid of them once you get them.

The state needs to look at other options like us Puna residents do now and educate folks how to keep them out of your house and away from your pets.

Take action now and do things like use ant insecticide chalk and other measures such as keeping your house clean of food items they could access to keep them out of your house.

Yes, the pain from a Little Fire Ant hurts like a bitch! Keeping them outside of your house is the best recommendation I can make.

VIDEO: NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) Recovered

First video of NASA’s saucer-shaped test vehicle, the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) after it was recovered from the ocean and returned to Port Allen, Kauai, on June 29, 2014.

The LDSD Test Vehicle recovered

The LDSD Test Vehicle recovered

The LDSD vehicle had completed its first test flight from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai one day earlier.

Training International Volcano Scientists and Saving Lives Worldwide

Scientists and technicians who work at volcano observatories in 11 countries are visiting the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory this week to learn techniques for monitoring active volcanoes.

Mike Poland (USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory) shows Marcellin Kasereka  (Goma Volcanological Survey, Democratic Republic of Congo, red jacket) how to adjust the leg of a tripod, while Patricia Ponce (Colombia Geological Survey, white hat) keeps the GPS antenna rod steady.

Mike Poland (USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory) shows Marcellin Kasereka (Goma Volcanological Survey, Democratic Republic of Congo, red jacket) how to adjust the leg of a tripod, while Patricia Ponce (Colombia Geological Survey, white hat) keeps the GPS antenna rod steady.

The International Training Program in Volcano Hazards Monitoring is designed to assist scientists from other nations in attaining self-sufficiency in monitoring volcanoes and reducing the risks from eruptions. Field exercises on Kilauea and Mauna Loa Volcanoes allow students to observe and operate a variety of instruments, and classroom instruction at the Observatory provides students the opportunity to interpret data, as well as plan a monitoring network for their home volcanoes. U.S. scientists are providing training on monitoring methods, data analysis and interpretation, and volcanic hazard assessment, and participants are taught about the use and maintenance of volcano monitoring instruments. Participants learn about forecasting events, responding rapidly during volcanic crises, and how to work with governing officials and the news media to save lives and property.

Organized by the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, with support from the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa and the joint USGS-U.S. Agency for International Development Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, the annual program has been training foreign scientists for 24 years. This year’s class includes 16 volcano scientists from Chile, Colombia Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Italy, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Geochemist Jeff Sutton and CSAV international volcanology students visit a continuous gas monitoring site on Kilauea's east rift zone during field studies portion of the summer training course. Instrumentation at this site measures ambient concentration of noxious sulfur dioxide gas released from the volcano's vents, along with meteorological parameters, transmitting these data back to HVO in real time for display and analysis.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Geochemist Jeff Sutton and CSAV international volcanology students visit a continuous gas monitoring site on Kilauea’s east rift zone during field studies portion of the summer training course. Instrumentation at this site measures ambient concentration of noxious sulfur dioxide gas released from the volcano’s vents, along with meteorological parameters, transmitting these data back to HVO in real time for display and analysis.

“Hawaiian volcanoes offer an excellent teaching opportunity because our volcanoes are relatively accessible, they’re active, and USGS staff scientists can teach while actually monitoring volcanic activity,” said the USGS’s HVO Scientist-in-Charge, Jim Kauahikaua. “The small investment we make in training international scientists now goes a long way toward mitigating large volcanic disasters in the future.”

“Providing training in volcano hazards assessment and monitoring is by far the most cost effective strategy for reducing losses and saving lives for those developing nations exposed to high volcanic hazards risks,” said CSAV Director Donald Thomas. “The goal of our course is to provide our trainees with an understanding of the technologies that can be applied to an assessment of volcanic threats as well as how to interface with their respective communities to increase awareness of how to respond to those threats.”

“The training program directly benefits the United States, through international exchange of knowledge concerning volcanic eruptions, and it serves as an important element in our country’s humanitarian assistance and science diplomacy programs around the world,” said the USGS’s VDAP Chief, John Pallister.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Geochemist Jeff Sutton and CSAV international volcanology students visit a continuous gas monitoring site on Kilauea's east rift zone during field studies portion of the summer training course. Instrumentation at this site measures ambient concentration of noxious sulfur dioxide gas released from the volcano's vents, along with meteorological parameters, transmitting these data back to HVO in real time for display and analysis.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Geochemist Jeff Sutton and CSAV international volcanology students visit a continuous gas monitoring site on Kilauea’s east rift zone during field studies portion of the summer training course. Instrumentation at this site measures ambient concentration of noxious sulfur dioxide gas released from the volcano’s vents, along with meteorological parameters, transmitting these data back to HVO in real time for display and analysis.

The international participants are learning to use both traditional geological tools and the latest technology. To anticipate the future behavior of a volcano, basic geologic mapping brings an understanding of what a volcano is capable of doing, how frequently it has erupted in the past, and what kind of rocks, and ash it produces. Using Geographic Information Systems, the students learn to predict lava flow paths, conduct a vulnerability assessment, and tabulate the predicted costs associated with the damage from a lava flow. Participants are trained in the emerging field of infrasound monitoring, which is critical for rapidly detecting volcanic explosions and/or rift zone eruptions, as well as basic seismological fundamentals, and a survey of pre-eruptive seismic swarms at various volcanoes around the world. Monitoring and modeling deformation of a volcano focuses on different techniques from traditional leveling methods to GPS and satellite-based radar.

Providing critical training to international scientists began at HVO, leading to the creation of CSAV to continue the legacy. Since 1990, almost 200 scientists and civil workers from 29 countries have received training in volcano monitoring methods through CSAV. USGS’s HVO continues to provide instructors and field experiences for the courses, and VDAP has a long-term partnership with CSAV, providing instructors and co-sponsoring participants from countries around the world.

3.3 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of Big Island

A 3.3 magnitude earthquake was registered at 5:37 AM this morning in the Volcano area of the Big Island:
3.3 Volcano

VIDEO: NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Successfully Launched From Kauai

NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) was successfully launched on a helium balloon today at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii later the LDSD will be released at 120,000 feet and fire a Star 48B rocket motor to boost it to Mach 4.0 and 180,000 feet.

NASA IFO

This height and speed simulates a spacecraft flying through the Martian atmosphere and is where the air breaking systems will be tested on the LDSD vehicle.

LDSD is fitted with what is called SIAD-R, a giant dounaut air bag that will increase the diameter of the vehicle and help slow it down to Mach 2.5 where a supersonic parachute will deploy ahead of a safe landing in the Pacific Ocean for recovery.

Lava Flow Continues to Creep – New Breakout on Northeast Flank

New breakout on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Elevated pressure within Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone reached a breaking point this morning with magma intruding through the cone and erupting from fissures on the northeast flank of the cone. These new vents fed a vigorous, but still relatively short, channelized flow that had reached about 1.5 km (0.9 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō by 11 am. This new activity was accompanied by minor sagging of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater floor, due to withdrawal of magma within the cone.

View of the sinuous channelized flow that is moving to the northeast. The flow front this morning was about 1.5 km (0.9 miles) from Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Left: The advancing front of the channelized flow northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The front this morning was 1.5 km (0.9 miles) from Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Right: Thermal image of the channelized lava flow. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at the top of the image. The line of slightly lower temperatures down the center of the channel represents more intact (and cooler) crust, which is less disrupted than the lava near the channel margins.

This Quicktime movie shows the swiftly moving lava in the channelized flow.

This Quicktime movie shows a large chunk of lava being pushed by the current in the channel.

This comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image shows the distribution of activity northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Today’s breakouts originated from several fissures on the upper northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, sending out flows to the northeast. These partially overlap with the existing Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, which had scattered surface flows this morning.

A closer look at the breakout points of today’s new activity. The lava erupted from several fissures which broke through, and slightly uplifted, older lava on the cone.

Left: A very close view of one of the breakout points, with fresh spatter coating the older lava. Right: Another view of the spatter coating the area around the breakout point.

The withdrawal of magma from within Puʻu ʻŌʻō, to feed the new flows, has caused minor subsidence of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater floor since this morning. This was associated with small collapses at the spatter cones on the crater floor. A partial collapse of this cone revealed a small pond of lava just below the surface.

As noted above, the new flows have caused withdrawal of magma within Puʻu ʻŌʻō and small collapses of the several cones on the crater floor. Dropping lava levels in the northeast lava pond in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater caused collapses and enlargement of the pond, which has nearly claimed the time-lapse camera (left side of images) observing the lava pond.

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remained active this morning

Surface flows remained active this morning on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, but today’s observations suggest that the new breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō may have interrupted the lava supply to the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow field. Observations over the next few days will be able to determine if the lava supply to the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow has ceased.

Wordless Wednesday – Skiing on a Hawaii Wave: Willy Bogner Film

Snow Skiing on a Hawaii wave?

Skiing in Hawaii

“Skiing Hawaii” a short film by Willy Bogner:

Great Pacific Race Turns Bad – Four Rescued on Attempt to Row to Hawaii

The Coast Guard rescued four rowers Saturday, who were participating in the Great Pacific Race from Monterey, Calif., to Honolulu, when their rowboat began taking on water Friday evening.

Coast Guard Rescue

At 9 p.m., the Coast Guard command center in Alameda received a call from the Marine Rescue Coordination Center in Falmouth, England about a 24-foot rowboat that was taking on water. MRCC Falmouth received the initial distress notification because the emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) for the rowboat was registered in England.

A sailboat, functioning as a safeboat for the Great Pacific Race, was first on scene, but could not complete the transfer of the rowers due to high winds and rough seas. The Coast Guard launched a helicopter from Air Station San Francisco and a C-130 plane from Air Station Sacramento, locating the rowers at 1 a.m. pacific time and approximately 75 miles west of San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Once on scene, the Coast Guard helicopter crew lowered a rescue swimmer to the rowboat, who hoisted three rowers into the helicopter.

The rescue swimmer remained on scene with the fourth rower. The helicopter crew took the three rowers to San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport to awaiting EMT crews. The helicopter crew refueled and returned to the rowboat, where the fourth rower and rescue swimmer were hoisted into the aircraft. At approximately 4 a.m., the fourth rower was taken to Monterey Regional Airport.

All four rowers are reportedly in good condition and did not require further medical attention.

“This was the most challenging rescue I’ve ever had,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Leon, an Air Station San Francisco rescue swimmer. “It was unique because there was no light, seas were incredibly rough and waves were crashing over the top of the boat, which was already filled with water. I’m glad we were able to get on scene and rescue the rowers because surviving the night in those conditions would have been difficult.”

Puna Couple Busted for Growing Large Quantities of Marijuana

A Puna man and woman are in police custody after police recovered large quantities of marijuana at their home in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision.
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At 11:55 a.m. Friday (June 19) Vice Section officers served a search warrant at a home on the 15-1900 block of 31st Avenue. They recovered 674 marijuana plants ranging in height from 6 inches to 4 feet, 80 clones, and 6.94 pounds of dried marijuana.

Police arrested 62-year-old Cyra Kalama-Lopez at the scene. She was taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives continued the investigation. Several hours later, her husband, David Lopez, turned himself in at the Hilo police station. Both remain at the cellblock pending further investigation into possible charges of commercial promotion of marijuana.