Two presentations by UH Hilo geologists during Volcano Awareness Month

Geologists Steve Lundblad and Cheryl Gansecki will each give a free public presentation in January on tracking activity at Kīlauea caldera and Maunaloa, respectively.

Students taking measurements alongside huge cracks and rubble in the road.
UH Hilo geology majors measure vertical offset of Hilina Pali road on Kulanaokuaiki Pali in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park shortly after the end of Kīlauea’s 2018 eruption in September. Events in 2018 offset the road at this location by approximately 20 cm (8 in). (Steve Lundblad/UH Hilo Geology Department)

Two presentations hosted by the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) during Volcano Awareness Month, January 2023, will be held at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo campus. The month of programs is produced by HVO in cooperation with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and other partners to promote the importance of understanding and respecting nearby volcanoes through community talks and guided walks.

Both talks at UH Hilo will be held at 7:00 p.m., University Classroom Building, room 100.

Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023

Steve Lundblad
Steve Lundblad

“Tracking active faults and ground deformation south of Kīlauea caldera with the UH Hilo Department of Geology.”

The Koa‘e fault system connects Kīlauea’s East and Southwest Rift Zones south of the caldera. Faults here appear as low cliffs, or “scarps” along Hilina Pali Road in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and the area provides an important long-term record of Kīlauea south flank motion. These fault slip during major earthquakes, such as those of May 4, 2018—near the beginning of Kīlauea’s 2018 eruption. Join UH Hilo Professor of Geology Steve Lundblad as he describes how geology students track ground movements in the Koa‘e fault system, measuring active faults and tracking magmatic intrusions. On-the-ground measurements complement USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geodetic instruments to keep track of this active part of the Kīlauea volcano.

Thursday, Jan. 19

Cheryl Gansecki pictured
Cheryl Gansecki

“Tracking magma changes through time: 2022 Maunaloa versus 2018 Kīlauea.”

After 38 years of relative quiet, Mauna Loa erupted on Nov. 27, 2022. The eruption began in Moku‘āweoweo, the summit caldera, and within a day had migrated to the Northeast Rift Zone, where large lava flows began moving down the slope of the volcano to the north. USGS Hawaiian Volcano observatory geologists collected samples of the lava and brought them to the rapid response lab at UH Hilo, where changes in the chemistry and crystals were tracked as the eruption progressed. Join UH Hilo geologist Cheryl Gansecki as she describes what was learned about the magma feeding this eruption and why was it so different from what was seen from Kīlauea in 2018.

See the full month’s program schedule at the USGS website.

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