News Release

January 2020 Events at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

A small lake of water in a volcanic crater

USGS Photo

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News Release Date: December 10, 2019

Contact: Jessica Ferracane, Public Affairs Specialist, (808) 985-6018

Note to editors: High-resolution public domain images available on Flickr

Hawaii National Park, HAWAI‘I – January is Volcano Awareness Month, and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is pleased to host After Dark in the Park talks and guided hikes with USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists all month. In addition, the park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture, stewardship programs and opportunities to explore the Kahuku Unit throughout January 2020. 

The following events are free, but entrance fees may apply. Some programs are co-sponsored by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. 

Guided Hikes of Kīlauea Iki Crater. The four-mile (6.4 km) Kīlauea Iki Trail is one of the park’s iconic hiking trails, a popular destination for hikers who cross a steaming crater floor through the intersection of eruption and native rainforest. Most leave without knowing how the crater was formed, or how three eruptions since 1823 have filled it with more than 400 feet (120 m) of lava. Delve into the secrets of Kīlauea Iki with Park Ranger Michael Newman. Discover how fountains of lava from the giant brick-red cone, Pu‘u Pua‘i, jetted up 1,900 feet (579 m) in 1959 and left behind a 50-foot (15 m) bathtub ring of lava residue on the crater walls. Moderately difficult with an elevation gain of 400 feet (120 m). Free (park entrance fees apply except January 20). 
When: Mondays, January 6, 13, 20 & 27 at 10 a.m. 
Where: Meet Ranger Michael at the Kīlauea Iki Overlook parking lot.

Transitions: What’s Next for HVO and The Volcanoes it Monitors? Both 2018 and 2019 were years of profound change at Kīlauea Volcano and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO). Devastation caused by the largest lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapse in at least 200 years resulted in many transitions for island residents, including HVO. Tina Neal, Scientist-in-Charge of the HVO, describes the current status of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa and what might be coming next. She also recaps HVO’s situation since having to vacate its building at the summit of Kīlauea in 2018, and shares info on the exciting next steps for the volcano observatory in 2020 and beyond. (This presentation will be repeated at UH-Hilo on January 9.) Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free (park entrance fees apply). 
When: Tuesday, January 7 at 7 p.m. 
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium 

‘Ai Pono – Healthy Hawaiian Foods. ‘Anake (Aunty) Edna Baldado discusses eating and living healthier with native Hawaiian foods like kalo (the staple food of Hawaiians), ‘uala (sweet potato) and ‘ulu (breadfruit). Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free (park entrance fees apply).
When: Wednesday, January 8 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kilauea Visitor Center lanai

Hike the Path of Mauna Loa’s 1868 Lava Flow. RCUH-Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) geologists Katie Mulliken and Lil DeSmither lead this guided hike along the Pu‘u o Lokuana trail in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. During the hike, you learn about the eruptive history, structure, and current status of Mauna Loa, Earth’s largest active volcano, as you traverse lava flows from its 1868 eruption. Katie and Lil explain the volcanic features along the trail and tell the story of the destructive eruption and associated earthquakes in 1868. They also share information on how HVO monitors Mauna Loa, which has erupted 33 times since 1843, most recently in 1984. A park ranger will assist with the hike to answer questions about the Kahuku Unit of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Free! 
When: Saturday, January 11 at 10 a.m. 
Where: Kahuku Unit 

What’s Happening at Kilauea Volcano’s Summit? Kīlauea Volcano’s summit has been in an eruptive pause since the 2018 events ended over a year ago. Nevertheless, it remains a dynamic place. Ongoing inflation and seismicity indicate that the summit magma chamber is gradually recharging. A water lake, unprecedented in the written historical record, appeared at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u in late July 2019 and has steadily risen. What are the potential hazards at Kilauea’s summit? Could explosive activity return? What is known about the water lake? How is it monitored? Join USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists Matt Patrick and Tricia Nadeau as they answer these questions and more. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free (park entrance fees apply). 
When: Tuesday, January 14 at 7 p.m. 
Where: Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium 

Hike Back in tTime to the 1969-74 Mauna Ulu Eruption. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Dr. Carolyn Parcheta leads this two-hour guided walk along the fissure that started the Mauna Ulu eruption on May 24, 1969. Lava continued to erupt over the next five years, making it the longest observed effusive rift eruption at the time. The eruption ultimately built 
a lava shield, Mauna Ulu (“growing mountain”), a prominent landmark on Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone. It also sent lava flows to the coast and allowed for detailed observations of eruption processes. During the walk, Carolyn describes how fissures form, how lava fountains erupt, how these eruptions create the environment you see, and why some lava drained back into the ground. She also discusses her research that revealed just how deep the fissure extends into the ground. A park ranger assists to answer questions about Hawai?i Volcanoes National Park. Free (park entrance fees apply). 
When: Saturday, January 18 at 10 a.m.  
Where: Meet at Mauna Ulu parking lot before the 10 a.m. start time.  

Fee-Free Day in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. All fee-charging national parks (including Hawai‘i Volcanoes, Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park and Haleakala National Park) are FREE today. For a complete list of fee-free dates in 2020, go to 
When: Monday, January 20 all day
Where: All fee-charging national parks in the U.S. 

Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone 2019: Quiet but Insightful. In the year since Kīlauea Volcano’s notable 2018 eruption ended, the lower East Rift Zone has been relatively quiet. But USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists continue to gain insight into the eruption through ongoing research and monitoring. For answers to some of the many questions asked by island residents—Why did the fissures erupt along a linear pattern?  How long will it take for the lava to solidify? Why is vegetation still dying in the area?—join USGS HVO geologist Carolyn Parcheta as she explores these and other queries and shares recent observations and findings by HVO scientists. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free (park entrance fees apply). 
When: Tuesday, January 21 at 7 p.m. 
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium 

Ku‘i Kalo – Pound Poi. Make poi, the staple food of the Hawaiian diet. The root of the kalo plant is cooked and ku‘i (pounded) to create this classic Hawaiian dish. Join Ranger Keoni Kaholo‘a‘a as he shares his knowledge of kalo. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free (park entrance fees apply).
When: Wednesday, January 22 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lanai

Seismicity of the 2018 Kilauea Volcano Eruption. The 2018 Kilauea eruption produced unprecedented levels of seismicity in the volcano’s instrumented history. The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) documented about 80,000 earthquakes during the three-month eruption, starting with the dramatic collapse of the Puʻu ʻŌʻŌ cone on April 30 and ending with the final Kīlauea summit caldera collapse event on August 5. The sequence included a magnitude-6.9 south flank earthquake, the largest for Hawai‘i in 45 years. HVO seismologist Brian Shiro recounts the 2018 earthquake story, including how HVO adapted its techniques to monitor the events, and describes current levels of seismicity and HVO’s ongoing efforts to improve seismic monitoring. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free (park entrance fees apply). 
When: Tuesday, January 28 at 7 p.m. 
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium 

A Walk Through Kīlauea Volcano’s Summit History. Join USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist emeritus Don Swanson on a two-hour walk, during which you learn about the past 500 years of Kilauea Volcano’s history as revealed by rocks, craters, and cracks. Meet Don at the Devastation Trail parking lot on Crater Rim Drive. Arrive early, as he begins the guided walk to Keanakākoʻi Crater promptly at 8 a.m. Along the walk, Don points out and explains some of the features that formed during the 2018 summit collapse events, as well as the best publicly accessible display of explosive deposits erupted from Kīlauea around 230-370 years ago, one of which probably relates to an important oral tradition. Don also shows two contrasting vents for the July 1974 eruption, highlights the thick deposit of pumice and scoria erupted in 1959, and ponders the origin of Keanakāko‘i Crater. A park ranger will be available to answer questions about Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Free (park entrance fees apply). 
When: Multiple dates: Thursday, January 9; Friday, January 17; Wednesday, January 22; Saturday, January 25 at 8 a.m. 
Where: Meet at Devastation Trail parking lot before the 8 a.m. start time. 

Stewardship of Kipukapuaulu. Help remove troublesome plants at Kipukapuaulu, home to diverse native forest and understory plants. Bring clippers or pruners, sturdy gloves, a hat, and water. Wear closed-toe shoes and clothing that you don’t mind getting permanently stained from morning glory sap. Be prepared for cool and wet or hot and sunny weather. New volunteer? Contact Marilyn Nicholson for more info: 
When: Every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. (January 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30)
Where: Meet at the Kipukapuaulu parking lot, Mauna Loa Road, off Highway 11 in the park.

Stewardship at the Summit. Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Visit the park website for additional planning details:
When: January 3, 11, 17 & 25. Meet at 8:45 a.m.
Where: Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center on any of the above dates.

A Walk into the Past with Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar. Walk back to 1912, and meet the founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar, at the edge of Kīlauea Volcano. Dressed in period costume, Ka‘u actor-director Dick Hershberger brings the renowned geologist to life. Dr. Jaggar will take you on a tour of his tiny lab located below the Volcano House to see original seismograph equipment and other early instruments. You’ll learn what motivated Dr. Jaggar to dedicate his life to the study of Hawaiian volcanoes, and how his work helps save lives today. Space is limited; pick up your free ticket at the Kīlauea Visitor Center’s front desk the day of the program. Program includes climbing stairs and entering a confined space. Supported by the Kilauea Drama Entertainment Network (KDEN). Free (park entrance fees apply).
When: Every Tuesdays, January 7, 14, 21 & 28 at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Each performance is about an hour. 
Where: Meet at Kīlauea Visitor Center

Explore Kahuku. The Kahuku Unit is free, and is open Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Take a self-guided hike, or join rangers on weekends for a two-hour guided trek at 9:30 a.m. Enter the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5. Kahuku is located in Ka‘u, and is about a 50-minute drive south of the park’s main entrance. Sturdy footwear, water, rain gear, sun protection and a snack are recommended for all hikes.  


Last updated: December 10, 2019

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