Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015

Kilauea's Night Skies: An Artist's Perspective is the topic of Tuesday's After Dark in the Park program. NPS Photo by Janice Wei
KA`U SCENIC BYWAY SIGNS are starting to go up along Hwy 11. Among those placed by the state Department of Transportation are signs mauka of Punalu`u, at Wai`ohinu Transfer Station and by mile marker 73 near Kahuku Ranch. The signs’ design was chosen by the Ka`u Byway committee and other Byway committees from around the state voting on a few options sent from DOT. It shows a tropical bird on a coastal background. The local designation of the “Ka`u Scenic Byway - the Slopes of Mauna Loa” is on a smaller brown sign below.
      Ka`u Scenic Byway is the route a traveler would normally follow toward Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park from Kona. The western slopes from Manuka State Park to the entrance to the Kahuku section of the Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park feature a forest reserve and broad vistas with sweeping views of the ocean and mountain. This section includes landscape passing over relatively new lava so the traveler can experience transitions from substantially untouched to well vegetated volcanic terrain and rain forest. The southern slopes from Kahuku to the county park at Honu`apo Bay include the green segment that winds into Wai`ohinu Valley then down toward the ocean, with a panorama that may extend to a distant view of Kilauea. The eastern slopes cover the area from Honu`apo to the main entrance to Hawai`i Volcanoes National park and offer long, sweeping green views toward Mauna Loa’s summit as well as the Ninole Hills. The road rises from sea level to over 4,000 feet and is partly within the boundary of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Ka`u Scenic Byway offers the longest stretches of unspoiled natural scenery to be found anywhere in the inhabited Hawaiian Islands.
      See hawaiiscenicbyways.org/index.php/byway/kau-scenic-byway-the-slopes-of-mauna-loa.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE CONE OF UNCERTAINTY surrounding Hurricane Hilda’s forecast path includes all of Hawai`i Island. The storm continues to decrease in intensity on its path northwest and is expected to be a tropical depression by the time it reaches the state late this week.
      According to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, as the storm gains latitude, it will encounter increasing westerly shear associated with the subtropical jet stream, which is forecast to be enhanced as a closed low aloft takes shape north of the state. This increase in vertical shear will place Hilda in an environment which is conducive for weakening.
      At 11 a.m., Hilda was 600 miles east-southeast of Hilo, moving west-northwest at 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE PAST IS THE KEY to Kilauea’s future, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist say in the current issue of Volcano Watch. They review what has been learned on a 15-year journey and how new findings are shaping thoughts about the future at Kilauea.
      “Geologists from the Smithsonian, the University of Hawai`i and HVO began their journey in the late 20th century, when it was thought that Kilauea was almost always effusive (erupting lava flows) and that the opposite kind of eruption, violently explosive, was anomalous and rare,” the article states. “Now, 15 years into the 21st century, we know that explosive eruptions are far more common than previously thought and that the kind of eruptive activity, whether explosive or effusive, alternates over periods of centuries. How did this startling change in thinking take place, and why is it important?
      “Boots on the ground was the method, coupled with the ability to measure the age (to the nearest few decades) of tiny bits of charcoal found in volcanic deposits. Thousands of field observations of explosive deposits discovered more than 100 sites with charcoal resulting from fires started by eruption. Field work pieced together the sequence in which deposits were laid down — younger deposits overlie older deposits, like papers on your cluttered desk — and determined how far they were dispersed away from the summit of Kilauea. More sophisticated analysis indicates that some volcanic ash reached upward well into the jet stream, a hazard to air travel were it to happen again.
A researcher studies an ash deposit buried by lava in 1919 below Jaggar Museum.
Photo by Thomas Jaggar from HVO Record Book Courtesy of Bishop Museum
      “As our journey progressed, we dated charcoal in the deposits using advanced carbon-14 techniques. The ages confirmed field interpretations that the explosive deposits spanned a considerable time and were not products of rare, solitary eruptions. The most recent explosive period lasted from about 1500 to 1800 CE, and an earlier period from about 200 BCE to 1000 CE. Still older explosive deposits await more study.
      “We then assembled all previously determined carbon-14 ages for Kilauea lava flows on the volcano and found something remarkable. Most lava flows were erupted between explosive periods, not during them.
      “Wow! Suddenly it dawned on us that Kilauea erupts in cycles. Periods dominated by explosive eruptions alternate with periods dominated by effusive eruptions. Kilauea has mostly erupted lava flows for the past 200 years, and we had been misled into thinking that the volcano was always like that. Now we know better!
      “We then calculated that the volumes of lava flows surpass the volumes of explosive deposits by nearly 100 times. This was another wow! Apparently, the rate at which magma is supplied to the volcano from deep within the earth is almost 100 times faster during effusive periods than during explosive periods. Why this happens is not yet obvious, but it does.
      “The physical characteristics of the explosive deposits indicate that most eruptions were powered by steam from heated groundwater. This happens when the summit caldera is deep and intersects the water table, which today is about 615 meters (2,000 feet) below the rim of the caldera.
      “Putting all this together, we get a picture of explosive eruptions during periods of low magma supply and a deep caldera, and of effusive eruptions during periods of high magma supply and a shallow or filled caldera, such as today.
      “The future will probably resemble the past. Eventually the magma supply rate will drop drastically from its currently high level. The caldera will collapse because there is insufficient magma to fill the reservoirs supporting the summit, and explosive eruptions will resume. That would create a hazardous situation at the summit that could last for centuries, until the magma supply rate picks up and effusive eruptions again take command.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
      “What an exhilarating journey of discovery...and it continues.”
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD EXPRESSED her concern about the Voting Rights Act of 1965 last week on the 50th anniversary of Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson signing the act.
      “Fifty years ago, our country passed this monumental legislation to ensure the basic principle of our democracy —the right to vote — for all American adults, regardless of race, religion, gender or ethnicity,” Gabbard said. “We continue to see efforts on both the state and national level to erode the ‪‎VRA‬ and suppress the voices of millions of Americans.
      “These efforts remind us that the right to vote has not come easily, and therefore it must never be taken for granted. That’s why I am a co-sponsor of the Voter Empowerment Act of 2015, which would make the voter registration process easier and make voting more accessible. We need legislation that will move democracy forward, not rewind the progress made over the past 50 years.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u CDP Steering Committee discusses town infill and ag subdivision Tuesday.
Image from Draft Ka`u CDP
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to Ka`u Community Development Plan Steering Committee’s meeting Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. The committee discusses town infill and agricultural subdivision and makes preliminary decisions about revisions to the draft plan following review of community feedback. Summaries of feedback received during the March-June public review period are available at kaucdp.info.
Steering Committee members’ contact information is also available on the website.

KILAUEA’S NIGHT SKIES: An Artist’s Perspective is the topic at After Dark in the Park on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Kent Olson presents the night skies over Kilauea Volcano in a new perspective.
      Utilizing the current lava lake within Halema`uma`u Crater as a point of reference, participants journey from the depths of the quantum realm to the edge of the cosmos.


BUSINESS SPACE IS AVAILABLE for rent at the open location where Kama`aina Kuts and Styles by Elise are located in Na`alehu. Call Corrine at 937-1840 for more information.

See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_August2015.pdf.

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