Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Kīlauea Update, Tuesday, August 14, 2018, Pau? Maybe, maybe not…
Where to begin???

Letʻs start with definitions of “pau” in the Pukui & Elbert Hawaiian Dictionary:

pau: Finished, ended, through, terminated, completed, over, all done; final, finishing; entirely, completely, very much; after; all, to have all; to be completely possessed, consumed, destroyed.

Then, we read things. In the paper. In the Hawaiʻi Tribune-Herald, by John Burnett. Yesterday:

“Thereʻs some new cracks probably opened during the Aug. 9 south flank quake,” Snyder said. “But the highest temperatures they measured over the weekend in these cracks are, like 300 (degrees) Fahrenheit. Most of them are 150 Fahrenheit or lower, just plain cold.”

Snyder said there is no subsidence of the crater floor at Halemaʻumaʻu, at Kīlaueaʻs summit and “virtually no quakes, only mild steaming,” over the weekend.

“The seismicityʻs down to three small quakes, really small. The maximum was at (magnitude) 2.1, and youʻre not going to feel that unless youʻre right on top of it,” she said.

I see. Some new cracks…just plain cold. No subsidence, only mild steaming. Three small, really small quakes. I see. Itʻs all good. Letʻs ask The State for…hmmm…hows about maybe just $670,000,000 to fix everything [Kevin Dayton in todayʻs Star Advertiser]. Can?

NO. No can!

First, please…please, I implore you, please…Go Read Reports of past eruptions. Google them. Learn about and understand the History of where we are, where we live, of Pelehonuamea and her pele, and about eruptions. Please.

We cannot know that an eruption is pau until after, sometimes long after, the fact. Months after, sometimes. Months. Go. Read. We have just witnessed The Most Remarkable Volcanic Events to have taken place in our lifetimes. The inundation of places beloved and cherished, a stupefying alteration of Kaluapele, the summit caldera of Kīlauea. These are not little minor manini things we simply put a little bandaid on, kiss, and move on from. The entirety of the internal workings of Kīlauea has been altered. And we donʻt know or understand why or how, much less what consequences these events will have on the future. We. Do. Not. Know.

We know that eruptions pause, rest, take a break, have a lull, go on a respite, diminish, evolve, move location, reactivate, renew vigor, cycle through phases, gush, seep, fountain high, bubble low, spread, confine, stream, collapse, subside, refill, expand, speed up, slow down, etc etc etc.

We do not know when an eruption will end, or how it will end. So. Please. Take a deep, relaxing breath, and exhale slowly. Gather your wits about you, and think. Review. Remember. Pele created Hawaiʻi nei. Sheʻll be here long after weʻre gone. The current activities started on April 30, 2018. Not even 4 months ago. Why be in a hurry to resume life as it was? For one thing, cannot. Cannot. We have ALL been altered by our experiences of the last several months. Certainly some more than others. Our ʻāina aloha has been utterly transformed. And to varying degrees we have too. No rush. Recovery or readjustment always takes longer than anticipated. Always.


Itʻs true that ʻōlaʻi are MUCH fewer in number. Pictures seem to work better than words…

For the last WEEK:

And the last day up here:

Again, a reminder, that healing takes awhile. And we donʻt really know whatʻs happening inside. Smart, diligent scientists are hard at work trying to figure it out and understand processes. But especially at Kaluapele, where we havenʻt seen such mindboggling changes, much less studied them with modern instruments, thereʻs a lot to be learned.

Above are tilt graphs for the last week. UWD (the blue line) is at the summit, and POC, the thin green line, is on the Middle East Rift Zone. Both trend downward, indicating, at best, that magma supply is still low. At the moment. I think.

Yesterday, a classic of Volcano summer, it was clear and HOT. View below from the tower at HVO.

And from the same camera (note the same tree) on August 23, 2016, two years ago:

These little photos do absolutely no justice to the actual scenes. Iʻm hoping for a fresh drone video soon…

And down at Puna ma kai, Fissure 8 continues to fume gently.

And we get to watch a new black sand beach being born, courtesy of longshore drift.

The graphic below, from Wikipedia:

Wind blows, pushing waves onto shore at an angle. Sand washes back to ocean perpendicular to shore, and is carried by the longshore current.

Sands come to rest in sheltered, favorable locations. Oh the irony. Pohoiki remains so far safe, but the boat ramp now provides access to lovely swimming area. Those who have been here awhile may remember the astonishingly big black sand beach at Kamoamoa that accumulated almost overnight, decades ago. Photo below from

Beaches: Indiana University

Change. The only constant.

It remains to be seen how thisʻll all be resolved…

More tomorrow…

As always, with aloha,

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Big Island Learning