I am not a geologist.
I’m a humanities major from a family of scientists and educators, and I’ve been interested in volcanoes since I was a child. Kilauea, Mount St. Helens (I was 9 when it blew), Santorini/Thera— I learned all their stories, but what hooked me on volcanoes for life was witnessing a 1986 eruption of Pu’u O’o (episode 48!) when I was a teen.
Moving to geologically-active California broadened my interest from volcanoes to geology in general. For the past ten years, I’ve been mainlining geology blogs (here’s a few of my favorites), books, documentaries, online lectures, all-geo.org, and geologypage.com. And, of course, I’ve haunted the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website since the mid-90s.
When Kilauea’s summit lava lake started overflowing at the end of April, I sat up and took note. By May 1st, my geology bookmarks folder was also overflowing. So much was happening that I couldn’t keep up. So I created this blog to help me follow the eruption’s progress through a curated collection of images, videos, updates and articles from geologists, eyewitnesses, and local journalists.
Hawaii Volcano Scrapbook focuses more on the geology than the human side of the story: I feel ghoulish documenting other people’s personal tragedies. Also, I don’t want to post outdated or faulty emergency information by mistake. Yet I’m keenly aware that for those impacted by this eruption, Kilauea isn’t merely a scientific curiosity, but a source of loss, stress, grief and longterm uncertainty.
— Ellen NB