Friday, September 2, 2016

I Live in Hawaii Now!

As it happens, becoming obsessed with volcanology as a hobby can drive you to do things you may not have thought you could do. My wife and I successfully, and smoothly, moved to Oahu, Hawaii last month, and for a volcanophile, this is heaven. The Hawaiian island chain is made of of progressively older volcanoes, with the Big island, of course, being the newest addition.

Oahu is much older than the Big Island, however it does posess several young volcanic cones sush as the famed Punchbowl, Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay Crater, and Koko Head (among several others). Hanauma bay is a magical place, yet sadly overrun by tourists (and thus losing much of its natural beauty). However you can learn quite a bit at the visitor center at the summit entrance.


Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii (c) Matt Dotseth 2016


Some lava flows have been identified within Hanauma bay that are approximately 3,000 years old, and thus is still a potentially active volcano. However unlikely, it is possible that Hanauma and several craters could still hide a lurking active volcanic system under Oahu! Again, this is unlikely, but fun to ponder.

The Big Island is the main show, with Kilauea adding some 5 acres of land after the last lava breakout from the 61G lava flow. I haven't had the chance yet to fly over and check it out, as I'm in the middle of going through job interviews, but I fully plan to take a weekend jaunt over to Kilauea to see Pele in action.

As much action as Kilauea is having right now, its much larger neighbor, Mauna Loa continues to stir, and is continuing its long buildup to its next eruption, which, honestly, could be any time.
Typically the earthquake activity has been concentrated on its SW flank, but on its ENE flank today, there is a series of shallow quakes occurring. This is a little unusual for any quakes to be in that location, so it's something worth watching. When Mauna Loa erupts, it really erupts. 


Mauna Loa quake swarm, Google Earth w/USGS, and my database.




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