Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Kaʻū News Briefs Friday Nov. 25 2016


The Volcano went to New York this week and became a float in yesterday’s
90th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

THE ERUPTING VOLCANO, WATERFALLS, HAWAIIAN AGRICULTURE AND LOCAL CULTURE were main features representing Hawaiʻi Island on the float in the 90th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City yesterday. Macy’s partnered with King’s Hawaiian sweetbread company to build the float. It showed coco palms, sugar, pineapple, plumeria and other flowers, along with a waterfall, a volcano spewing confetti, and a rural shack, picnic table and garden.
   Two hundred hula dancers and the Hawaiʻi all-state marching band of 500 musicians, from public and private schools around the state, joined the parade seen by about 50 million people on television and the Internet, and three million people on the streets of New York City. 
     Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Executive Director Amy Kule said, “Hawaiʻi is a land of absolute wonder. The agriculture, the culture itself, the sheer beauty of this island is going to be shared with a brighter and bigger audience.”
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Tahiti-based London Missionary Society missionary William Ellis and American missionaries observed
and recorded activity at Kīlauea Volcano in the summer of 1823 during a walk
around the coastline of Hawaiʻi Island.  Wikipedia image 
VOLCANO WATCH: “AN ASSUMPTION ABOUT KĪLAUEA VOLANO is proven wrong,” is the headline of this week’s report from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists. “Everyone extrapolates facts and makes assumptions based on those facts. Sometimes, such an assumption is repeated so often that it takes on the aura of a ‘fact’ itself. This is the story of how one such assumption about Kīlauea’s recent past was proven wrong – and only in the past couple of months!”
     Going back in the history of western arrival in Hawaiʻi, the scientists write that “William Ellis, leader of the first missionaries to visit Kīlauea, described numerous pieces of windblown pumice (‘spumous lava...as light as a sponge’) in hollows on the ground as he approached the summit from the southwest on August 1, 1823. This must be the golden pumice. How long before his visit did the pumice fall?”
    The scientists explain that, “Scattered remnants of a once-extensive pumice deposit occur on the ground surface west of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit caldera. The pumice, known as the golden pumice, records a large lava fountain in the southwest part of the caldera.
Golden pumice is seen here along with many other kinds
of offerings from the volcano. USGS photo
     “In a study of the golden pumice published in 1987, three celebrated geologists – Bob Sharp (CalTech), Dan Dzurisin (USGS), and Mike Malin (Arizona State) – suggested an eruption date ‘possibly around 1820.’ The only rocks that fell later onto the pumice were, in their interpretation, erupted in 1924. They observed other thin deposits locally overlying (hence, younger than) the golden pumice but ascribed them to remobilization of older deposits by water, rather than to younger eruptions.
     “These observations and interpretations led to the assumption – challenged in this Volcano Watch – that the golden pumice represents the youngest explosive eruption from the caldera until 1924.
     “Several years ago, another pumice bed, called the eastern pumice, was discovered in the southern part of Kīlauea’s caldera. It underlies, and therefore is older than, explosion deposits consisting largely of rock fragments, not pumice.
     “Work on the eastern pumice – see Volcano Watch for August 8, 2013 (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/view.php?id=188)– tracked it westward into golden pumice
country. Nowhere, however, could we find the two deposits in the same outcrop, so we could not determine if the golden pumice was truly younger than the eastern pumice, as was assumed.
A past assumption about pumice deposits on Kīlauea Volcano 
has recently been proven wrong. In this photo, the eastern 
pumice can be seen above the golden pumice, with 
stream deposits between the two. 
Photo by Sebastien Biasse, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
     “We looked in just the right place and found clear physical evidence of  two pumice layers, one on top of the other. The older, lower pumice has the golden pumice composition. A chemical analysis of the younger, upper pumice, which looks physically like eastern pumice, was completed in late October, and it is indeed eastern pumice. The outcrop was examined once more in November with neutral observers, just to be sure, and the field relations were confirmed.
     “This discovery upsets the apple cart. The assumption is wrong that the golden pumice records the last 19th-century explosion.
     “Instead, the eastern pumice and at least four other explosions occurred later. The fallout from these explosions was directed mainly southward, rather than westward, so there is little overlap with the golden pumice. But there is just enough, as shown by that one outcrop, to prove the case and falsify the long-held assumption.
     “Now we are challenged to determine better the ages of these eruptions. Had they all taken place before Ellis arrived, or were some explosions in the later 1820s overlooked because of infrequent visitation to Kīlauea? Do some of the rocks overlying the golden pumice, interpreted as reworked older deposits by Sharp and colleagues, instead record younger explosions? Could some of the rocks thought to be of 1924 vintage really be from the early 19th century? These
and other questions await answers. A geologist’s work is never done.” To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō breakout flow on east flank as seen on Nov. 22
Photo from USGS
VOLCANO ACTIVITY UPDATES: Kīlauea continues to erupt at its summit and East Rift Zone. This past week, the summit lava lake level varied between about 7.5 and 20 m (25-66 ft) below the vent rim. The 61g lava flow continued to enter the ocean near Kamokuna. On Nov. 21, a new breakout from the upper part of the 61g tube on the flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō sent surface flows to the east and south. These flows remained active as of Nov. 23. The 61g lava flows do not pose an immediate threat to nearby communities. 
     Mauna Loa is not erupting. During the past week, small (less than magnitude-3) earthquakes occurred primarily beneath the upper Southwest Rift Zone and summit caldera at depths less than 5 km (3 mi). Deformation related to inflation of a magma reservoir beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone continues, with inflation occurring mainly in the southwestern part of the magma storage complex. No earthquakes were reported felt on the Island of Hawaiʻi this past week.

    Visit (http://hvo.usgs.gov) for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea daily eruption updates, Mauna Loa weekly updates, volcano photos, recent earthquakes info, and more; call for summary updates at 808-967-8862 (Kīlauea) or 808-967-8866 (Mauna Loa); email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov.

    Volcano Watch (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/) is a weekly article and activity update written by U.S. Geological Survery Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates. To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

30TH ANNUAL VOLCANO VILLAGE ARTISTS HUI SHOW & SALE is today and on  Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Volcano Village. Gallerygoers are invited to meet the artists in their studios located in Volcano. Artworks will be on display and available for purchase in a variety of media including pottery, raku, hand-blown art glass, sculpture, jewelry, and fiber art as well as photographs, paintings, drawings, metal work, quilts, and block prints.          A special drawing for pieces contributed by each of the artists will be held on the final day of the tour.
     For more information, call 987-3472 or 985-7487. Maps to the artists’ studios are available at local businesses and galleries in the Volcano and at: www.VolcanoVillageArtistsHui.com. 987-3472.

VOLCANO ART CENTER PROGRAMS PREVIEW EXHIBIT, Friday, Saturday Nov. 25/26, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. Discover what the New Year has to offer. VAC will be on Volcano Artist Hui’s tour, and Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will sell poinsettias. 967-8222

Lights, lanterns and messages
honor loved ones at Punaluʻu
this Saturday. Photo by Julia Neal
TOMORROW IS THE SIXTH ANNUAL FLOATING LANTERN CEREMONY at Punaluʻu Beach Park’s Medicine Pond. In addition to participants building, decorating and launching tiny boats to carry lights honoring late friends and family, the gathering features community potluck, Taiko drummers, Gi Gon demonstration, hula dancers and local music, followed by a special photo powerpoint presentation of loved ones, caregivers and previous celebrations. The theme is “Honoring the Past, Present and Future Generations.” 
     To donate to the scholarship fund for health careers, call 928-0101. See more at Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association’s website https://krhcai.com and its Facebook page. To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY holiday exhibit daily through Jan. 1 from  9 a.m. – 5 p.m., at  Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Featured at Christmas in the Country is the 17th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibit, with prizes awarded for the best wreaths. To participate, contact Emily Weiss at 967-8222 or gallery@volcanoartcenter.org. Free; park entrance fees apply.


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