Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hawaii's volcano will highlight a Geophysical Union meeting

The American Geophysical Union (AGU), which was established in 1919 by the National Research Council and for more than 50 years operated as an unincorporated affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences and will be hosting their fall meeting in San Francisco next week. Highlighting the event will be Kilauea Volcanoes 27-year run of continuous activity, and the recent and ongoing eruptive changes within the Halema'uma'u Crater.

Excerpts from this article in the Honolulu Star Bulletin:
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and University of Hawaii-Manoa scientists will present observations and interpretations of Kilauea's activity in this year's Volcanology Program, titled "The 2008-2009 Eruption of Halema’uma’u, Kilauea: Eruption, Ascent Dynamics and Plume Dispersion." …
James (Jim) P. Kauahikaua, observatory director, said the volcanology session "is centered around developments and a more detailed understanding of what's happening at the summit here and how it relates to the ongoing rift eruption. ... Now we've got an added one here at the summit in the last two years," he said, referring to the lava spewing from Halema’uma’u Crater on March 24, 2008.

Much of the observatory's effort is dedicated to collecting data, volcanic gas and geologic samples and visual observations from Halema’uma’u and the surrounding area within Kilauea caldera, Kauahikaua said.
"Describing and understanding what has been erupted from Halema’uma’u since 2008 from the perspective of their work will help frame what caused this eruption and what future effects and behaviors we foresee."
Dramatic changes in Kilauea Volcano's behavior in 2007 and 2008 are believed to result from an increase in the amount of magma stored at shallow depths beneath Kilauea's summit caldera that started as early as 2003, Kauahikaua said.

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