June 28: USGS on Latest Changes to Kīlauea Caldera [Pt. 3 of 3]

This post got long, so I’ve moved the Q&A session to Part 3. Again, I’m transcribing what HVO geologists had to say at the June 28 Volcano Village community meeting.

Part 1 was Kyle Anderson’s talk on seismicity and ground deformation— lots of nitty gritty science— while Part 2 was Don Swanson’s slideshow of some of the visible changes he’s observed within Kīlauea Caldera, with a lot of photos I haven’t seen anywhere else.

Here’s the video of the whole meeting.

Here’s my transcription of the Q&A session. A lot of these questions have already been answered online, but I like hearing direct, personal responses from some of the senior HVO scientists:

Continue reading June 28: USGS on Latest Changes to Kīlauea Caldera [Pt. 3 of 3]

June 28: USGS Talk on Latest Changes to Kīlauea Caldera [Pt. 2 of 3]

This continues my transcription of the Thurs Jun 28 USGS presentation at Volcano Village. Part 1 transcribed HVO Scientist-in-Charge Tina Neal and seismologist Kyle Anderson’s remarks. Part 2 covers senior volcanologist and my longtime hero Don Swanson’s remarks.

Here’s the video of the entire 1.5 hour meeting. Don’s presentation starts at 15:50:

It sounds like Swanson’s been holed up in Volcano House after HVO was evacuated. (Kyle Anderson: “Don has spent more time viewing this eruption from the summit than anyone else.”)

Title of talk: “Comparisons of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, May 19 through June 28
Viewed from dining room table of Volcano House”

Don Swanson, geologist, USGS

[15:50] Thanks, Kyle.

The data that Kyle showed are absolutely magnificent. What I want to do now is to show you some photographs of features that I’ve been able to see during my observations. The first will be a series of photographs of Halemaʻumaʻu taken from the seat in the dining room of the Volcano House hotel where I sit and observe things.

Screencap of first slide in Don Swanson’s presentation. In USGS archives: [May 19] [June 13]
On May 19th, of course, things were just starting to get going, but over here on June 13th, you can see that the crater has widened dramatically, and notice that it’s also dropped to the top of the tree which was way below the— it’s come way down. It isn’t because the tree is growing! It’s because the crater is dropping down.

Now we’ll go to this next period, June 13th to the 17th.

Continue reading June 28: USGS Talk on Latest Changes to Kīlauea Caldera [Pt. 2 of 3]

June 19: Steve Brantley USGS Talk on Eruption Status

On Tuesday, June 19, there was a Puna Community Meeting at Pahoa High School at 5pm. As usual, Steve Brantley of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory/USGS gave an excellent slide presentation reviewing the current state of the Kilauea eruiption. He covered the “perched lava flow” in the Lower Rift Zone and the dramatic changes at the summit, placing each in context with previous similar events. (I didn’t realize there were records of many past Halema’uma’u collapses).

Video of the entire meeting is posted here. The USGS talk starts at 42:40. I’ve transcribed it below, adding photos when I have something close (and restoring his graphs/diagrams which don’t come through very well on video recording).

Steve Brantley, HVO/USGS:

Continue reading June 19: Steve Brantley USGS Talk on Eruption Status

June 11: USGS Conference Call: What’s Causing Summit Explosions?

Once again the USGS media conference call at 11AM is full of so much juicy info I’ve moved it to a separate post rather than make my daily digest 10 pages long.

July 10, 2017 HVO webcam panorama of Halema’umau compared with June 10, 2018. (Click for Full-sized)

BigIslandVideo hasn’t put their edited/abridged version up, which they usually enhance with recent video footage. But they cut a lot of the Q&A anyway.

Below are my paraphrase/notes on the full, unabridged conference call (I skipped a non-geology questions where answer is “Agency X handles that; ask them.”]

Continue reading June 11: USGS Conference Call: What’s Causing Summit Explosions?

June 12: Steve Brantley (USGS) Weekly Talk on Eruption

I didn’t realize I’d missed one of Steve Brantley’s excellent 10-minute slideshow presentations at the weekly Puna Community Meetings. This one took place on Tuesday, June 12 at Pahoa High School.

I learn something from every one of these talks, which sum up Kilauea eruption activity of the past week in a way that’s easy for the general public to understand without talking down to them.

Video of meeting is archived here. Steve’s presentation starts at timestamp 42:10. Where possible, I’ll be including images in my transcript which match his slides.

(Steve Brantley is a USGS geologist, deputy-scientist-in-charge of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.)


Hello everybody. Thank you for coming out again and thank you for your perseverance. I’ll show a couple slides of what’s been happening down in this part of the neighborhood and end with some slides of the summit area, which continues to change very dramatically.

Cutaway Diagram of Kilauea Volcano, adapted from USGS Characteristics of Hawaiian Volcanoes. (I’ve adjusted text and drawn arrow to match Steve Brantley’s slide in his presentations.)

So this is  the overview slide I’ve showed for the past few times. It gives you the overall picture. It’s an image, cartoon, from the summit area all the way out to the eastern tip of the island. The summit area here [under “Kilauea Caldera” label], eastern tip [down by “Kapoho Crater”], with a cross section showing you the general picture of the magma reservoir system from the summit of the volcano down through the East Rift Zone and into the Lower East Rift Zone.

Continue reading June 12: Steve Brantley (USGS) Weekly Talk on Eruption

May 19 USGS Press Conference on Kilauea’s Explosive Side

BigIslandVideoNews just put up an edited video of Saturday’s USGS press conference. My hero Don Swanson is there. It’s INCREDIBLY informative on what they think is happening at the summit and why they think it’s a repeat of the “much smaller eruptions” of 1924 and not larger ones.


Continue reading May 19 USGS Press Conference on Kilauea’s Explosive Side