Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015

Following Tropical Depression Hilda's drenching rains at Namakanipaio, the popular campground has reopened. Photo from NPS
PARK RANGERS HAVE RE-OPENED all previous storm-related closures within Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park due to deterioration of Tropical Depression Hilda and a decrease in forecast wind speeds. 
      The backcountry areas and summit of Mauna Loa, the remote coastal sites from `Apua Point to Ka`aha, Hilina Pali Road and Kulanaokuaiki Campground, Mauna Loa Road and Namakanipaio Campground and A-frame cabins are now open.
      Heavy rain is still expected through today, and park visitors are reminded to drive with caution.
      Hilda, south of the state, has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u residents can provide information for a cultural impact assessment
regarding Ninole and Hilea Bridges. Photo by Julia Neal
CULTURAL SURVEYS HAWAI`I INC. seeks information from Ka`u residents for its cultural impact assessment regarding the Ninole Stream Bridge and Hilea Stream Bridge replacement project. The purpose of the CIA is to gather information about the project area and its surroundings through research and interviews with individuals who are knowledgeable about this area. The research and interviews help when assessing potential impacts to the cultural resources, cultural practices and beliefs identified as a result of the planned project. Aspects on which information is requested include general history and present and past land use of the project area, knowledge of cultural sites, knowledge of past and ongoing traditional gathering practices in the project area, cultural associations of the project area, referrals of kupuna or elders and kama`aina who might be willing to share their cultural knowledge of the project area and the surrounding ahupua`a lands, and any other cultural concerns the community might have related to Hawaiian cultural practices within or in the vicinity of the project area. 
      Call 808-262-9972 or e-mail mliborio@culturalsurveys.com or amitchell@culturalsurveys.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I ISLAND POLICE URGE RESIDENTS to disregard stories posted on social media sites, such as Facebook, touting a 112 number as a means to contact police for information or help.
      That number, 112, is the number dialed in European countries for emergency services and may or may not reach your local Police/Fire/Medical services on the island in time of need.
      The only number that should be dialed for emergency assistance is 911. Any other non-emergency police assistance should be directed to the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311. 
      Anyone with questions about this may call Acting Lieutenant Travis Ing in the Police Department’s Dispatch Center at 961-8808.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

USGS HVO geophysicist Ingrid Johanson measures gravity on the slope
of Mauna Loa. Photo from USGS
MAUNA LOA IS GAINING WEIGHT, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists who explain how they know and what the implications are in the current issue of Volcano Watch
      “As part of our monitoring of subsurface activity at Mauna Loa, we recently conducted a series of measurements of the force of gravity at various locations near the summit caldera and rift zones of the volcano,” the article states. “Did that sentence surprise you? Most of us don’t think much about gravity, but when we do (as in, perhaps, cursing it when our cell phone drops to the ground), we don’t usually think of it as being different from place to place or from time to time.
      “Actually, the force of gravity varies along the surface of the Earth due to many factors, all stemming from the fact that the force is stronger with greater mass, and smaller with greater distance from the bulk of the mass. These changes are generally quite small. For example, you will weigh less at the top of Mauna Loa than you do at sea level in Hilo, because Mauna Loa’s summit is 4,170 meters (13,680 feet) farther from the center of the Earth. But the difference — less than half a pound — is probably not worth the trip as a weight loss measure.
      “How we use gravity to monitor volcanoes takes advantage of the knowledge that the pull of gravity is stronger when there is more mass beneath the spot where it’s measured. So when magma rises to shallower levels and accumulates in a magma reservoir (increasing mass), gravity increases at the nearby surface.
      “If there is a large enough volume of magma and/or the depth to the reservoir is shallow enough, we can measure that slight change in gravity with a specialized instrument called a gravimeter. We use these measurements to help constrain the amount of magma and possibly the depth at which it is being accumulated.
      “Usually, when magma rises beneath a volcano, the ground surface also swells (rises) in response to the increased pressure from below. Thus, when we measure changes in gravity with time, we must also measure the change in elevation to correct for its effect on gravity. Nowadays, the easiest way to do that is to measure gravity at stations in the continuously recording Global Positioning System network on Mauna Loa. Data from these stations are processed at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to track positions for each site with an accuracy of a few centimeters (about an inch).
      “The position differences over time recorded by the GPS network do more than just provide elevation changes for correcting gravity measurements. The patterns of surface motion are another window to the activity beneath.
      “For a little more than a year, GPS stations on Mauna Loa have been recording a pattern of motion that indicates influx into magma storage reservoirs beneath the volcano’s summit area. The rate of the increase has not been steady, but rather seems to be happening in pulses, with lulls of up to more than a month interspersed with periods of faster inflation.
      “Micro-seismicity beneath the summit area started picking up even before this most recent episode of inflation became apparent. As we’ve reported in recent Volcano Watch articles, the number of small earthquakes beneath the summit area has increased since at least late 2013.
      “The deformation of the surface and the increased seismicity strongly suggest that Mauna Loa is indeed gaining weight, or in other words, that magma is accumulating at fairly shallow levels. The recent gravity survey is not easily comparable to measurements made around the time of the most recent eruption in 1984, but it forms an excellent baseline for future assessments.
      “Gravity measurements complement the numerous other methods we use to track the movement of magma beneath the surface of Hawaiian volcanoes, including monitoring deformation with GPS instruments and tiltmeters, earthquakes with seismometers, volcanic gas fluxes with gas sensors, and temperature anomalies with infrared webcams and thermal sensors in fumaroles. Gravity measurements are unique in that they offer the only method of directly monitoring increases or decreases in subsurface mass.
      “Our goal is to integrate all these data for a better understanding of the processes happening below the surface that lead to eruptions, with the hope that this will ultimately lead to better forecasts of the time, place and magnitude of eruptions.”
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A guided hike tomorrow focuses on the People & Lands of Kahuku.
NPS Photo by Julia Espaniola
PEOPLE & LANDS OF KAHUKU, a guided, 2.5-mile, moderately difficult hike over rugged terrain tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., focuses on the area’s human history. This is one of several programs offered at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit this month. 
      Call 985-6011 for more information.

VOLCANO RAIN FOREST RUNS are a week from today. Registration continues for the sixth annual event.
      The Half Marathon begins at 7 a.m. next Saturday, followed by the 10K at 7:45 a.m. with the 5K at 8 a.m. All runs start and finish at Cooper Center on Wright Road.
Volcano Rain Forest Runs are a week from today. Photo from Sharron Faff
      Keiki can register for free 100- or 200-yard dashes on race morning until 9:30 a.m. The Keiki runs sponsored by Kilauea Lodge begin at 10 a.m.
      Volcano Rotary Club will be serving a BBQ Grill Lunch from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. for $9.
      There will be entertainment for everyone with juggling, face painting and balloon animals, plus other craft booths, food booths, music and much more.
      For more information, maps, FAQ’s and registration information, see volcanorainforestruns.com or call 967-8240.


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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