Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Friday, May 20, 2016

Hikers explore the Ka`u Mountain Water System as part of the Ka`u Coffee Festival. The annual Ho`laule`a
begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow with Emcee Skylark, live entertainment all day, coffee tastings
and food. See more below. Photo by Jesse Tunison
FORMER HAWAI`I CIVIL DEFENSE Vice Director Ed Teixeira is directing emergency management operations of Hawai`i County Civil Defense Agency as interim administrator, effective May 16. His position follows four decades of service at federal and state government levels.
Ed Texeira Photo from LinkedIn
      Teixeira is a combat veteran who served in Vietnam, Korea, Japan and Germany, retiring from the U.S. Army as a colonel after 26 years of service. He began his emergency management career at state Civil Defense in 1996 and was named vice director in 1999. Teixeira retired from state Civil Defense in 2011. Since then, he has worked as an instructor at Chaminade University in Honolulu and as a disaster preparedness and planning consultant.
      “Ed Teixeira has worked for many years to keep the people of Hawai`i Island safe in his role at state Civil Defense. We welcome his expertise and leadership at the helm of Hawai`i County Civil Defense,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi.
      Teixeira was born and raised on O`ahu. He bought a home in Waimea while stationed at Pohakuloa Training Area in 1986. His familial ties to the island are in Honohina, where his mother was raised.
      “I want to thank Mayor Kenoi for his confidence and for giving me the opportunity to serve the good people of Hawai`i County,” Teixeira said. “As a resident of the Big Island, I am proud to be a member of his Civil Defense team. I extend my thanks and congratulations to Chief Darryl Oliveira for his outstanding work in the Civil Defense Agency, an agency with a history of excellence.”
      Previous Hawai`i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira retired at the beginning of May. Oliveira led Hawai`i County Civil Defense since 2013. His tenure included preparation for and response to Tropical Storm Iselle, the recent Puna lava flow and an outbreak of dengue fever.
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Miss Ka`u Coffee 2016 Rochelle Koi learned
about Ka`u's agricultural history.
Photo from Rochelle Koi
HIKES EXPLORING THE KA`U MOUNTAIN Water System on Wednesday and Thursday gave Ka`u residents and visitors a glimpse of flume systems of the sugarcane era and how the water is moved and used today. The old flumes carried water down the mountain to float sugar to the mill in Pahala. Today, the water irrigates fields, provides drinking water and could possibly be used for hydroelectric power.
      Rochelle Koi, who was crowned Miss Ka`u Coffee 2016 at the pageant last Saturday, joined one of the hikes. She said it was “a wonderful experience where I was able to learn so much about our agricultural history. I am very glad to have participated.”
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HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY scientists discuss their search for the right “keys” to Mauna Loa in the current issue of Volcano Watch.
      In September 2015, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory raised the Volcano Alert Level for Mauna Loa from “normal” to “advisory” because of increased activity beneath the mountain’s summit caldera and upper Southwest Rift Zone, the article states. Importantly, the “advisory” level does not indicate that an eruption is imminent or certain. Rather, it means that one or more monitoring data streams are recording activity significantly above background levels. At the same time that earthquake rates increased, sensitive Global Positioning Satellite instruments and satellite radar systems recorded ground swelling, which indicated that magma was moving into shallow levels beneath the volcano (a process called “inflation”).
A Ka`u Mountain Water System explorer gets up close to cool water
cascading down a flume. Photo by Jesse Tunison
      Since last September’s announcement, and, in fact, since mid-2014, when Mauna Loa activity first began to increase, not only have the rates of earthquake and surface deformation waxed and waned, the locations of earthquakes and inflation have shifted as well. Far fewer earthquakes have been occurring beneath the summit caldera, while rates of earthquakes in the upper SWRZ have increased. Concurrently, inflation beneath the caldera has slowed significantly, but picked up in the upper SWRZ. 
      One of the many valuable lessons that Kilauea and Mauna Loa have taught us is that it’s important to use all our volcano monitoring “keys” – geophysical, geological, and geochemical – to help unlock the subsurface processes that cause changing activity. To continue the analogy, volcanologists have also found that, unfortunately, not all volcanoes are “keyed” alike – indicators of activity on one volcano do not always apply to another one.
Miss Ka`u Coffee Rochelle Koi greets Ka`u Mountain Water System
explorers. Photo from Rochelle Koi
      Mauna Loa’s renewed activity, especially the recent earthquake and deformation changes, has HVO scientists polishing old keys while developing new ones that were technologically inconceivable prior to the volcano’s most recent eruption in 1984. 
      For example, HVO’s seismic network is considerably expanded (more seismometers with more sensitive sensors) and more robust to survive the harsh Mauna Loa environment, especially at high altitude. Continuously recording GPS instruments and other satellite-based systems produce frequent and widespread measurements of ground surface movement. And, newly installed visible and infrared (thermal) webcams track surface changes around the clock.
      Another key currently under enhancement is gas geochemistry.
      Many kilometers (miles) deep within a volcano, gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and water are trapped in the magma by the intense pressure, which keeps the gases dissolved. Because magma is hotter, and thus more buoyant, than the surrounding rock, it rises towards the surface. As this happens, pressure on the magma decreases because there is less material on top of it. This decrease in pressure, especially at the shallow depths of just a few kilometers (a mile or so) below a volcano’s summit, allows some of the trapped gas to escape. These released gases are hot and buoyant and can reach the ground surface well before their host magma.
      Volcanic gas studies take advantage of pre-eruptive gas release to provide clues about what might be happening at depth. HVO has one gas monitoring station in Mauna Loa’s summit caldera that continuously measures the concentrations of CO2 and SO2, as well as temperature, at the gas vent.
Areas like this on Mauna Loa's Southwest Rift Zone indicate where
gases are escaping from magma. Photo from USGS
      Over the next couple of months, we hope to add another continuous gas monitoring site on Mauna Loa’s SWRZ, not far from where the earthquakes and inflation are currently concentrated. 
      Another exciting volcanic gas geochemistry development involves close cooperation with scientists from NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory, located on the volcano’s north flank at an elevation of 3,380 m (11,100 ft).
      Some years back, MLO scientists noted that, in addition to being able to track the steady rise in background atmospheric CO2, they were, under certain wind conditions, able to measure CO2 emissions from the volcano. In the current venture, HVO, Alaska Volcano Observatory, and MLO scientists will be monitoring Mauna Loa’s volcanic CO2 emissions more carefully alongside MLO’s world-class, continuous atmospheric data set.
      As Hawai`i Island’s population grows, more people and infrastructure are potentially in harm’s way now than during past eruptions of Mauna Loa. At the same time, however, volcanologists and public safety officials have learned valuable lessons by studying eruptions around the globe. This increased knowledge, plus advancements in the volcano monitoring keys we use to detect and investigate restlessness, can help communities be safer during future eruptions.

      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch.
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Island Princess is the site of a mac nut tree grafting workshop
next month. Photo from Island Princess
UH-CTAHR Cooperative Extension Service, Hawai`i Macadamia Nut Association and Island Princess welcome Ka`u macadamia nut growers to an informational and interactive workshop on macadamia nut grafting presented by IP grafters. The hands-on tree grafting class in Kea`au on Friday, June 17 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. takes place at Island Princess, 17-4147 North (N) Road in Kea`au.
      During the workshop, presenters will teach the basics of grafting macadamia nut trees. They will instruct and guide participants through active grafting of scion to rootstock. HMNA members and UH Extension faculty and staff will assist.
      Although rootstock materials will be limited, presenters encourage active participation in the grafting exercise following instruction by the IP grafters.
      RSVP to Jen at 322-0164 or burtjen@hawaii.edu by Wednesday, June 15. Participants must bring their own grafting knives.
      For more information, contact Alyssa at 808-969-8225 or acho@hawaii.edu.
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KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL HO`OLAULE`A is tomorrow. The event features a full day of entertainment, displays, Ka`u Coffee tasting, farm tours, the Ka`u Coffee Experience and food at Pahala Community Center from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_May2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.

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