Categorized | Environment, Volcano

New ‘Eruptions of Hawaiian Volcanoes’ booklet available


In January 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, located on the rim of Kilauea Volcano’s summit caldera, will celebrate its 100th anniversary. As part of the program to commemorate the upcoming Centennial, the USGS has published a revised edition of “Eruptions of Hawaiian Volcanoes — Past, Present, and Future.”

This general-interest booklet — reader friendly and beautifully illustrated— has been highly popular with Hawaii residents, teachers, and students, as well as the many thousands of visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, since it was first published in 1987.

This new edition focuses on eruptions of Kilauea and Mauna Loa, two of the world’s most active volcanoes. It highlights the still-continuing activity of Kilauea’s east rift zone eruption, which began in January 1983 and shows no signs of stopping.

The edition also describes Kilauea’s summit activity within Halemaumau Crater, which started in mid-March 2008 and also continues to present.

In addition, the booklet summarizes how HVO and other scientists monitor volcanic activity, including the use of space-age techniques not available when the first edition was published.

The frequent, and often spectacular, eruptions of Hawaiian volcanoes have fascinated people for centuries. Viewing an erupting volcano in Hawaii is a memorable experience, and one that attracts the attention of many people around the globe, scientists and non-scientists alike.

Because Hawaiian eruptions are generally non-explosive, they can be observed and studied with relative safety, allowing scientists to better understand eruptive processes and products and providing tourists unforgettable memories.

Over geologic time, volcanic activity, in Hawaii and elsewhere in the world, has created and shaped more than 80 percent of the Earth’s surface, above and below the sea.

Hawaiian shield volcanoes are known for their relatively non-explosive eruptive style compared with the typically explosive activity of composite volcanoes like Mount St. Helens Volcano.

The latest edition of “Eruptions of Hawaiian Volcanoes — Past, Present, and Future” offers further details on the different types of volcanoes and provides the most up-to-date information about the hazards associated with Hawaiian volcanism.

USGS General Information Product #117, “Eruptions of Hawaiian volcanoes; past, present, and future,” by Robert Tilling, Christina Heliker, and Donald Swanson, is available as a free pdf online:

A limited number of free printed booklets are also available (for a $5 handling fee) from: or by writing to USGS Information Services, Box 25286, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225

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