USGS
Hawaiian Volcano 
Observatory


THE OHIKI AND OTHER EXPERIMENTS

Ohiki is the Hawaiian word for sand crab; honukai means sea turtle. In 1928, when the National Geographic Society joined with the USGS to sponsor an expedition with Jaggar in charge to map, photograph, and survey in the Aleutians around Pavlof Volcano, the Society supplied an amphibious boat, to which Jaggar gave the name Honukai. It was a twin-screw steel amphibian, built in Chicago by the Powell Mobile-Boat Corp. In the 650 km along the coast of Alaska from Shumagin Islands to King Cove, the expedition did not even have to pump up the tires. The Honukai's numerous excessively low gears even enabled them to drive up to the snowline and bring out the heavy fur and bones of a bear that Jaggar had shot on the snowy volcano, Mount Dana. Jaggar brought the Honukai back to Hawaii with him and based it in Kona.

In preparation for this expedition, the HVO machine shop built a wooden amphibious boat around a "low-geared small motor car with balloon tires,' that Jaggar had used over tundra and beach of the Alaskan Peninsula in 1927 (Jaggar, 1927). Inlets, rivers, and rocks were obstacles that made Jaggar mentally design modifications of the car into a "car-skiff."

The land and sea trials of this preliminary vessel, the Ohiki, took place in the spring of 1928 (Wilson, 1928). She first took to the sea at Ninole Cove in the Kau District, and she quickly revealed the need for additional work.

After modifications (freeboard raised, length slightly increased, paddle-wheels enlarged, a winch and cable mounted in bow, 5-horsepower outboard motor added), an extended trip was made along the west coast of the Island of Hawaii to make beach and sea tests. Thurston went along as a passenger and publicity man; Mrs. Jaggar served as stewardess. The car with the boat body excited all the roadside children of Kona with delight.

Jaggar's Ohiki made a speed of about 6 km/h (4 mi/h) in water with the combined power of paddle wheels and outboard motor; it weighed 1,700 kg (3,800 lb), was 7 m (22 ft) long, and had a 1.5-m (5-ft) beam and an overall width of 2.1 m (7 ft) at the paddle boxes. It made more than 30 km/h (20 mi/h) over highways. As a result of his experiences and design work with the Ohiki and the Honukai, Jaggar was later able to help the U.S. Army with the design of amphibious vehicles for World War II, and he received in 1945 the Franklin L. Burr Prize of the National Geographic Society for this work.

Many other experiments were generated by HVO, though some were mostly conducted by others (see Jaggar, 1956), They included studies of the rehabilitation of lava and lava soils by organisms such as lichens; classification of the lava soils of the Kona District on the Island of Hawaii for their suitability for coffee tree cultivation; and installation of tide gauges at Hilo. College-credit courses in volcanology were given over many summers, especially for Island teachers. The widths of selected cracks, especially near Halemaumau, were measured periodically to record any changes. Topographic mapping of the Island of Hawaii and, by 1932, of almost the whole Territory of Hawaii was supported. By 1924, several triangulation and leveling projects had proved the elevation and distention of Kilauea caldera. As early as 1912, private industry (the Dictaphone Corp.) was trying out microphones in attempts to record the true sounds of a volcano in eruption.

ABSTRACT
INTRODUCTION
JAGGER AND THURSTON: BACKGROUND
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

BEGINNINGS OF THE OBSERVATORY

PIONEERING, 1912-1953

BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES
TECHNOLOGY STATION (1911-1918)
INSTRUMENT HOUSES
WHITNEY LABORATORY OF SEISMOLOGY (1912-PRESENT)
OTHER FACILITIES
BUILDING 41 (1940-PRESENT)
BUILDING 131 AT UWEKAHUNA (1927-PRESENT)
NEW BUILDING AT UWEKAHUNA (1985-PRESENT)

PUBLICATIONS AND DOCUMENTS

VOLCANO EXPERIMENTS

MAUNA LOA
ACCESS ROUTES AND FACILITIES
THE 1926 ERUPTION
CONTROLLING LAVA FLOWS

SEISMOLOGY
INSTRUMENTS
TRAVEL TIMES OF EARTHQUAKE WAVES
SCALES OF EARTHQUAKE INTENSITY
TSUNAMIS

TILT

SCIENCE AND THE PUBLIC

REFERENCES CITED

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