When Pele comes to Puna

A Kilauea/Puna update has been appended at the end of the post Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Volcanoes are best loved from far away. The excitement of live lava is best viewed on a screen and not through the window. Of course, actual distance is good, but distance in time is also often deemed…

Kilauea: the lower Puna eruption of 1955

In Hawaiian folklore, Pele is vengeful and unpredictable. Her habitation is well known: Kilauea leaves little doubt about where Pele lives. But you never know where she may appear next. She shares this habit with Kilauea. It has a clear summit and all the action stems from there. But where the action will be next…

Kilauea – Slump or Slide?

As I have perused the internet in the last few days I have noticed that the “gargantuan landslide causing a mega-tsunami” meme is in full swing again, now in relation to Kilauea. Therefore, I think it is time to write a more laidback article about what is happening in that regard with Kilauea. But before…

Kilauea: If wishes were horses!

We humans may wish for many things, but gravity is a horse we can’t wish away. And this horse drives what is happening at Kilauea. So far, the new stage of the old Kilauea eruption that started about one week ago has given us a very small subsidence caldera, a large earthquake, drained two lava…

The other Hawaii: observing Haleakala

For a Kilauea update, see the bottom of the post Astronomy is a dangerous science. It is not just the fact that astronomers love to blow things up. Exploding stars are their bread and butter. For a bit of adventure, they collide black holes. And who else would start the history of everything with a…

Puna 2018

Update May 8 No major changes. The lava pond in Kilauea is now reported as 220 meters down, and may still be dropping. The most recent images suggest it is still going down. Below 400 meters there would be a risk of ground water getting into the hole with phreatic consequences, but so far there…

Puna 2018

Volcanoes spring predictable surprises. Ever since Puʻu ʻŌʻō began to inflate it was clear that a new break-out was brewing. The 61-G flow had been in decline for many months: the spectacular ocean entry had ceased some time ago, and the flows had withdrawn to within a few miles of the origin. That is typical…

Pēlā paha Mauna Loa

The world of volcanism is not about being equal. There are small volcanoes, there are big volcanoes and then there is Mauna Loa. And until someone actually proves that the Tamu Massif is one single volcano and not a Large Igneous Province or a multiple volcano area I will continue to refer to Mauna Loa…

Trouble in Paradise: awakening Mauna Loa

Mauna Loa keeps paradise interesting. It has erupted 33 times since 1843, with large eruptions happening on average once every 8 years. Over that time it has covered its slopes with 4 km3 of new lava. But those are just the most recent stirrings. Its older lava flows cover over half of the island of…

Kilimanjaro

Volcano coffee

Volcanoes can be costly. The Kilauea eruption of Feb 28, 1955 destroyed 21 houses, 10km of road, 4000 acres of sugar plantations and one coffee plantation: the damage was 40 million dollar in today’s prices. The cost of Mount St Helens was 1 billion dollar. Both events were eclipsed by Eyjafjallajokull: its price tag of…