Hawaii and the story of the Pacific Ocean

The expanse of water seems to go on forever. The Pacific ocean covers a third of the Earth surface, more than all the continents combined. The east-west width between Indonesia and Colombia is almost 20,000 km. There is 700 million cubic kilometer of water down there! 45 different countries own part of it. The averaged…

Kilauea eruptions

Two VC readers, mjf and Turtlebirdman, contributed lists of historical and slightly pre-historical eruptions of Kilauea. They are worth putting into a post and that is what we have done. We assumed that the second list made use of the first, and used that. It is worth pointing out that an eruption is a failed…

Pele’s gift

  A paradise waiting, the advert had said Tropical living, to buy or to let Secluded large houses with colour galore The gardens are landscaped; enjoy the outdoor Grand are the trees and fertile the soil Anything grows, no effort or toil Wake up in the morning; admire the view The living is perfect for…

Puna in numbers

Journalism is about impressions; science is about numbers. VC is standing in between these. We appreciate the immensity and power of volcanoes (and also appreciate that relatively speaking, these are manageable disasters. The human impact is awful for people concerned, but is not on the scale of major earthquakes or tsunamis. On balance, volcanoes create…

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…