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HVO—100 years ago this month (October)

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.

Although Frank Perret had moved from the technical station at the edge of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater to the Volcano House Hotel on the rim of Kīlauea Caldera, he continued observing the volcanic activity. His work had gone so well that, in the first week of October 1911,Frank Perret photo of Kīlauea Iki with Halemaʻumaʻu in background. key Honolulu merchants formed the Hawaii Volcano Research Association and began raising the funds needed to establish a permanent volcano observatory at Kīlauea. This Association supported HVO for several decades.

For the first three months of Perret's stay on Kīlauea, the Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake level fell. It had finally begun to rise, but Perret was anxious to return to his beloved Italy and, on October 27, he left Hilo for Honolulu, where he presented a lecture before sailing away. The day before he left Hilo, Perret's service was publicly acknowledged in a Hawaii Herald (Hilo newspaper) editorial. It stated that 90 percent of tourists traveling to Hawaiʻi came to see Kīlauea, but that most were dissuaded from the trip by Honolulu residents eager to retain the tourists and their money. Thus, the Hilo editor expressed gratitude for the publicity that Perret's work on Kīlauea had generated for Hawaiʻi Island. Continued next month...

HVO—100 years ago this month (September)
HVO—100 years ago this month (August)
HVO—100 years ago this month (July)

Hawaiian volcanoes—This month in history (October)

1904 Hawaiian Almanac and Annual October 6, 1903 blackdotAt 12:45 p.m., a column of "smoke" rising from Mauna Loa could be seen from points around Hawaiʻi Island and as far away as Molokaʻi. With nightfall, a bright glow became visible, confirming the suspected Mauna Loa eruption. Lava fountains 60-180 m (200-590 ft) high erupted on the floor of Mokuāʻweoweo, Mauna Loa's summit caldera, feeding flows that soon formed a lake of lava. Another outbreak of lava on the southwest flank of the volcano was short-lived. The summit eruption waxed and waned until December 8, when all activity ceased.
October 5, 1963 blackdotShortly after 3:00 a.m., the summit of Kīlauea began to subside and HVO seismographs recorded the onset of strong tremor and shallow earthquakes. Around 5:30 a.m., an eruption began on Kīlauea's upper east rift zone, the fourth in two years. Lava erupted from more than 30 fissures along a 13-km (8-mile) section of the east rift zone (right) between Nāpau and Kalalau Craters. During the night, a bright red glow was visible from Pāhoa, Kalapana, and Hilo. The short-lived eruption ceased mid-morning on October 6.
October 5, 1963 eruption on Kīlauea's upper east rift zone

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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Last modification: 1 October 2011 (pnf)