Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Southwest Rift Zone erupted on Sept. 24, 1971 for the first time in more than a half century. Spectators hiked into the Ka`u Desert and were kept back from spattering lava by rangers on horseback. A possibility, according to a report from scientists yesterday is that eruptions could be seen again in the Southwest Rift Zone. Photo from NPS
POSSIBLE SOUTHWEST RIFT ZONE eruption in Ka`u is one of three scenarios offered yesterday by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists. These follow an abrupt lowering of the lava lake level in Halema`uma`u and increased activity in the southern Kilauea summit caldera and upper Southwest Rift Zone. The Southwest Rift Zone last erupted in 1971. The eruption before that was in 1919-1920 when Mauna Iki erupted on the Southwest Rift Zone.
      Hawaiian Volcano Observatory released a statement yesterday that “the overall evolution of unrest in Kilauea’s summit area and upper rift zones in the coming weeks to months is uncertain. The magma storage system within Kilauea is highly pressurized at this time, and future changes in the location of unrest – and the potential for eruption – could unfold quickly (in days to hours).”
The National Park of Reunion Island is taking part in Hawai`i Volcanoes National
Park's Biodiversity & Cultural Festival today. Photos by Ron Johnson
      Scientists reported that “these recent changes at the summit of Kilauea suggest that magma has moved into a shallow area beneath the southern part of the caldera and upper Southwest Rift Zone. It is not possible to predict the exact outcome of this activity, but we identify three possible scenarios that could play out in the coming days to weeks:
  1. Magma continues to accumulate in the southern part of Kilauea’s summit caldera and upper SWRZ at shallow depths, but then stops with no eruption; 
  2. Magma continues to accumulate in the southern part of the caldera at shallow depths and leads to a rapid intrusion into the Southwest Rift Zone. Such an intrusion could remain within the rift zone or erupt along the rift zone. A rift zone intrusion would be indicated by a swarm of shallow earthquakes, seismic tremor, and large, rapid changes in the deformation of the ground surface; 
  3. Magma continues to accumulate in the southern part of the caldera, rises toward the surface and erupts in the upper SWRZ and/or in the caldera. With this scenario, we would expect to see even stronger earthquake activity and/or seismic tremor in the southern part of the caldera, as well as ground cracks.
A group of BioBlizters prepares to inventory plant species along a trail
in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      Reviewing recent history, HVO reports: “The lava lake in the Overlook crater (summit vent) overflowed its rim beginning April 28, sending many short flows across the floor of Halema`uma`u Crater. By May 8, these overflows and spatter from the rising lava lake had built a ridge (or levee) of solidified lava around the vent rim to a height of about eight meters (26 feet) above the floor of Halema`uma`u Crater, creating a ‘perched lava lake.’ On May 9, the lava lake level began to drop, and, as of Friday, May 15, the lake surface was about 50 m (165 ft) lower than the newly created vent rim. 
      “The abrupt lowering of the lava lake level was accompanied by changes in summit deformation and seismicity. As the lava lake dropped, the inflationary trend previously observed in the summit area changed to a deflationary trend centered near Halema`uma`u Crater. On May 13, the focus of deformation changed to the southern part of Kilauea’s summit caldera and upper Southwest Rift Zone, where rapid and localized inflationary tilt was recorded.
      “This change in deformation was accompanied by a shift in the focus of earthquake activity from Kilauea’s summit, upper East Rift Zone (ERZ), and upper Southwest Rift Zone (SWRZ) to the southern part of Kilauea’s caldera and Upper SWRZ. Of the many hundreds of earthquakes that have occurred in the SWRZ over the past two days, most have been small (less than magnitude-two) and shallow (less than four km [2.5 mi] deep). As of noon on May 15, earthquakes over the past 12 hours were occurring every couple of minutes, the highest rate recorded thus far, including this morning’s magnitude-3.2 quake at 8:37 a.m., HST, and magnitude-3.0 quake at 10:52 a.m., HST.
      “During this period of elevated summit activity, there has been no obvious change in the eruption rate of lava from the Pu`u `O`o vent on Kilauea’s East Rift Zone. Few earthquakes have occurred in the upper ERZ over the past few days.”
      HVO scientists report that they continue to closely monitor Kilauea Volcano, watching for any signs of unrest that may precede a new outbreak of lava or changes in activity at Pu`u `O`o or the summit. HVO is in frequent communication with Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai`i County Civil Defense to keep them apprised of the activity.
      HVO posts daily eruption updates its website, along with photos, videos and maps as they are available at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php.
      Interested persons can receive daily Kilauea eruption updates via email by subscribing to the Volcano Notification System at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns/.
      HVO contact information: askHVO@usgs.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Many species in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park are counted today as
National Geographic Bioblitz 2015 concludes. Painting by
John Dawson for the National Geographic Society
HOW MANY SPECIES CAN BE COUNTED inside Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is the question of the day as BioBlitz 2015 continues. Schoolchildren, scientists and other citizen volunteers are making the count over a 24-hour period ending today. This is the ninth annual BioBlitz, each in different parks, sponsored by the National Geographic Society and the National Park Service, leading up to one hundredth anniversary of the National Park Service next year. 
      A post on National Geographic’s BioBlitz blog says that Bioblitz in Hawai`i “celebrates biodiversity and Polynesian culture, a spiritual and scientific look at nature” and calls it a “teaching moment for all that there is time to repair and appreciate our bonds with the Earth.”
      BioBlitz is being held simultaneously with the 35th Annual Cultural Festival in the park, with hula, cultural demonstrations and more until 4 p.m. today. Admission is free.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Featherwork is one of many Hawaiian cultural activities available today
at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
THROWING FISH SCRAPS OVERBOARD is illegal, the states is reminding boaters. 
      Such activity can lead to Hawaiian monk seals hanging out around fishing boats, ramps and harbors where they can be struck by boat propellers. A year old monk seal was found dead on Anini Beach on Kaua`i this week and may have been hit by a boat. The fine is $1,000 and 30 days in jail plus possible civil penalties for just throwing fish scraps overboard.
      Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair Suzanne Case issued a statement saying: “Seals that are fed, even unintentionally by discarded fish scraps, can quickly become ‘problem seals’ that associate people with food and seek out human interactions that are dangerous for seals and people. They are wild creatures, and we want to keep them wild.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U’S STATE SENATOR RUSSELL RUDERMAN earlier this week returned from Washington, D.C. where he was honored by the U.S. Small Business Association as Business Person of the Year by the Hawai`i Region of the Small Business Association.
Sen. Russell Ruderman receives Business Person of the Year
award from SBA Adminstrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.
Photo from Sen. Ruderman
      “I’m truly humbled by this honor,” Ruderman said. “I feel lucky to be able to combine my passion to support local people and local products with my love for business and entrepreneurship.”
      The award was given to Ruderman as President and Founder of Island Naturals, a group of natural and organic food stores on Hawai`i Island. Established in 1997, Island Naturals now employs 150 people at three locations in Kona, Hilo and Pahoa. Those who nominated Ruderman for the Business Person of the Year award described him as someone “willing to listen to people with different worldviews,” and “very humble and unassuming.”
      The SBA awards recognize the special impact made by outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners. Criteria for the Business Person of the Year award includes number of years in business, growth in number of employees and increase in sales and/or unit volume, innovativeness of product or service offered and contributions to community-oriented projects.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

JUNE 1 IS THE DEADLINE FOR FEEDBACK on the draft Ka`u Community Development Plan.
      When adopted and implemented, the CDP will become a county policy document, guide federal and state agencies and guide community-based action to direct conservation and settlement patterns; protect and enhance natural and cultural resources; strengthen infrastructure, facilities and services; and build a resilient, sustainable local economy.
Hawai`i Island students take the Biodiversity Challenge at Hawai`i Volcanoes
National Park.
      Ka`u residents can review the document at local libraries and community centers, at Planning offices in Hilo and Kona and online at kaucdp.info.
      Comments may be made online or sent to Hawai`i County Planning Department, Attn: Ka`u CDP, 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 3, Hilo HI 96720.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL CONSIDERS county operating and capital improvement budgets Monday at 9 a.m. at West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona. Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center. The meeting is also streamed live at hawaiicounty.gov. Click on Council Meetings.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar.com_May2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and

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