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HVO—100 years ago this month (August)

To set the stage for our 100th anniversary next year, we will reflect over the next few months on events leading to the founding of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in 1912.

By early August 1911, construction of a scientific station on the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu CraterBy early August 1911, construction of a scientific station on the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater (left) was complete and Frank A. Perret, HVO Director pro tem (filling in for Thomas Jaggar), began living at the crater's edge. After two failed attempts in July, Perret finally succeeded at lowering an electric pyrometer into the circulating lava lake within the crater, obtaining the first actual measurement of molten lava temperature—1,010 degrees Celsius (1,850 degrees Fahrenheit)—in the world. At the insistence of Lorrin Thurston, editor of the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Perret began publishing weekly summaries of Kīlauea's volcanic activity in the Honolulu newspaper from mid-August through late September—six reports in all. With the completion of temperature experiments and the start of regular, consistent observations, Jaggar's vision for a volcano observatory at Kīlauea was well underway. Continued next month ...

HVO—100 years ago this month (July)


Hawaiian volcanoes—This month in history (August)

Image from eruption in and near Alae Crater August 21, 1963 blackdotAn eruption in and near Alae Crater on Kīlauea Volcano's east rift zone began at 6:15 p.m., after more than four hours of volcanic tremor and small earthquakes. Vigorous lava fountains on the floor and north wall of the crater quickly formed a pool of lava on the crater floor (left). Some of this lava drained back into the vents, but when the eruption ended on the morning of August 23, a lake of molten lava as much as15 m (50 ft) deep still remained in the crater.

August 11, 1855 blackdotMauna Loa's longest-lasting historic eruption began on this day, with vents along a 10-km (6-mi) segment of the volcano's northeast rift zone active for 450 days. Multiple episodes of high lava fountains produced numerous ʻāʻa lava flows, some of which advanced to within 10 km (6 mi) of Hilo Bay (map shows the 1855-56 lava flow terminus relative to Hilo and the bay). The eruption, as witnessed by Reverend Titus Coan, is described in Life in Hawaiʻi.
Mauna Loa flow map of August 11, 1855


 
Archive of previous feature stories

  Halema`uma`u plume captures the sun in the early morning, creating a picturesque sight.
Photograph by M. Poland
November 14, 2008

Hanging with the sun and the moon

Top: Halema`uma`u plume captures the sun in the early morning, creating a picturesque sight.

Bottom: With stagnant winds present, Halema`uma`u plume stands straight up, showing off the distant, but bright, full moon.

Archive of Featured Photographs

  With stagnant winds present, Halema`uma`u plume stands straight up, showing off the distant, but bright, full moon.
Photograph by M. Poland
November 13, 2008

 

More Volcano Information from HVO and Beyond

Earthquake seismogramReport a felt earthquake to HVO using this form.
More USGS Volcano Web sites

Volcano WatchCurrent issue of Volcano Watch essay, written weekly by USGS scientists.
National Park ServiceHawai`i Volcanoes National Park, home to HVO. Find visitor information and resources here. Graphic: Kids DoorVolcanoes for kids, from the Volcano World website.
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