Last updated: August 15, 2023
Some of the biggest changes on Hawai’i come from the active volcano on the island. Lava flowing across the island incinerates everything in its path. But lava also creates new land. Land that will eventually support species and habitats found nowhere else on earth.
Voices of Science: Lava and Change
Lava is the sound of change.
Lava, Sounds Only
- Credit / Author:
- National Park Service
- Date created:
Narrator: Throughout the Hawaii Voices of Science episodes, we’ve talked a lot about change on Hawai’i Island: positive change that comes with species and habitat restoration or trickier change that come with invasive species and a changing climate. Some of the biggest changes on Hawai’i come from the active volcano on the island. Lava flowing across the island incinerates everything in its path. But lava also creates new land. Land that will eventually support species and habitats found nowhere else on earth. In 2018, an eruption of the Kīlauea volcano changed the island forever. Large lava flows southeast of the park destroyed hundreds of homes and devastated residential areas. At the same time, the summit area of the park was dramatically changed by a massive collapse of the Kīlauea caldera. Our team was on Hawai’i Island before the caldera collapsed—When Kīlauea’s Halema'uma'u Crater contained an enormous lake of molten lava. A lava lake so huge you could see its orange glow in the night sky from miles away. It was something to see. And it was also something to hear. Rock fall, gasses, and movement as the lava surged back and forth created some of the most awe-inspiring sounds imaginable. We’d like to close out our episodes in Hawaii with the sounds of lava. First the lava lake that used to lie within the Halema'uma'u Crater and then the lava flows at the end of the Chain of Craters road. The sound of lava is the sound of change. An audio meditation on the cycles of creation and destruction that define Hawai’i. SOUNDS OF LAVA LAKE, THEN CROSSFADE TO SOUNDS OF LAVA FLOWS
Outro: Voices of Science is produced by the National Park Service in cooperation with the Acoustic Atlas at Montana State University. Our staff includes Jennifer Jerrett, David Restivo, Sara Melena, and me, Brittni Connell. Special thanks to Michael Newman and Jessica Ferricane at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. To learn more about the park, visit their website at go dot NPS dot gov slash HAVO. Find more episodes of Voice of Science at go dot NPS dot gov slash VOS. Thanks for listening! FADE TO BLACK