Tag Archives: volcanoes

The Pallisades, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

The Pallisades – John Day Fossil Beds
~ Fossil, Oregon * Contact: 32651 Highway 19, Kimberly, OR 97848 * Phone: (541) 987-2333 ~

A breathtaking rest stop along the scenic Journey through Time scenic byway in Oregon is the geological features known as the Pallisades. It is located roughly 18 miles west of Fossil, Oregon. These cliffs and land forms are created by prehistoric volcanic lahars (or volcanic mud flows) roughly 54-40 million years ago. This landscape was quite different at that time – a lush semi-tropical rainforest with jungles, vines, trees, shrubs and mega fauna. After the volcanic cataclysms, the environment was turned into the arid desert it is now. Fossil evidence depicts a vast arrange of plant life from leavaes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and petrified wood of over 173 species of trees, vines, shrubs, and other plants. Numerous faunal fossil remains of crocodiles, mini four-toed horses, huge rhino-like brontotheres, and meat-eating creodonts were found. There are three distinct hiking trails all under a mile in length demonstrating the fossil and geological record. Picnic tables and restrooms make for a restful stay. Drinking water is available from the rest stop May through September.

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea


Big Island

Mauna Kea means “Mountain of the Deity Wakea” or “White Mountain”. It is one of the major 5 shield volcanoes that creates the Hawaiian Islands. The others in this chain are Kohala, Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea. It is inactive. It is often called “White Mountain” because of it being consistently covered with snow during winter. Its peak reaches 13,803 feet above sea level but looms 33,476 feet above the ocean floor making it the world’s tallest mountain by that measurement if you disclude the ocean. Doing so, makes it taller than Mount Everest.
Mauna Kea is home to the infamous and highest of cinder cones known as Pu’u Wekiu or Pu’u o Kukahau’ula, which is the highest point in the state. This volcano is in the post-shield stage of volcanic evolution transitioning from the shield stage roughly 250,000 years ago. During its shield stage it is theoreticized to have appeared similar to Mauna Loa as a smooth shield volcano with a large summit caldera. The summit was entirely covered by a massive ice cap during the Pleistocene ice ages and displays evidence of four periods of glaciation over the last 200,000 years that ended around 11,000 years ago with the last glaciation. Its dense rock at its summit, called the “Mauna Kea Adz Quarry” is believed to have formed when lava erupted under a glacier. Towards its top is the seventh highest lake in the U.S. called “Lake Waiau”. Also at the summit is a celestial observatory that has been considered the best astronomical site in the world since it resides above 40% of the Earth’s atmosphere and 90% of the water vapor allowing for an exceptional clear view of the night sky. Local legends place Mauna Kea as the home of the snow Goddess “Poliahu” and many other deities making it an important mecca site for prayer, burials, consecration of children, and traditional celestial observations.


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Mauna Loa


Big Island


Mauna Loa

Big Island, Hawaii
Mauna Loa is one of Hawaii’s most active Shield Volcanoes. She is shaped like a shield because it produces lava that is extremely fluid with low viscosity and possesses very low slopes. It is one of 5 that make up the Hawaiian Islands. The others are Kohala (dormant), Mauna Kea (dormant), Hualalai (dormant), and Kilauea (active). This mountain’s massive size and elevation, causing it to loom over 13,677 feet above sea level makes it the world’s largest volcano on Earth by means of volume and area. As a very active shield volcano, it has produced a volume estimated at approximately 18,000 cubic miles. In Hawaiian “Mauna Loa” means “Long Mountain”. Most of its eruptions are non-explosive, silica-poor and very fluid, causing more lava flows and fountains since it has very shallow slopes. Because of how the trade winds blow from east to west, Mauna Loa strongly affects the local climate. At low elevations on the eastern windward side of the volcano is a high presence of rain causing much of the foot of the volcano region to be rainforest. The western (leeward) side causes a drier climate giving birth to deserts. Its summit crater/caldera is called Moku’aweoweo. The summit is also often covered with snow due to its elevation. The main oval depression is about 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. Two side craters partially fused with the main one are know as North Pit and South Pit; southwest of the summit caldera are two smaller pit craters called Lua Hou (New Pit) and Lua Hohonu (Deep Pit). Mauna Loa has been erupting for at least 700,000 years, emerging from the sea floor above surface around 400,000 years ago, coming from the Hawaii hotspot that is responsible for creating the Hawaiian Islands for tens of millions of years. The gradual drift of the Pacific Plate will eventually carry this volcano away from the hotspot causing it to become extinct within 500,000 to 1,000,000 years from now. From prehistoric times offerings and prayers were made here off the ‘Ainapo Trail that rose from the village of Kapapala over 11,200 feet in about 35 miles to the Moku’aweoweo caldera during its eruptions. These trips took many days and individuals, so camps were established along the way for food and water supplies. By 1916 Moku’aweoweo was included in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park with a trail connecting it with the park headquarters at Kilauea. The most prominant eruptions here with extensive lava flows were in 1855, 1859, 1881, 1887, 1907, 1916, 1919, 1926, 1935, 1942, 1950, The 1926 and 1950 eruptions destroyed villages, and some of Hilo is built on its lava flows from the late 19th century. In 1934 A shelter was build with some of the stones from the historic Wilkes’ camp site and mortar at the summit. During the 1935 eruption, the U.S. Air Force dropped bombs in the path of the lava to divert it from hitting Hilo. The most recent of eruptions occured from March 24-April 15, 1984. In the 1990’s the Ainapo Trail was reopened. As of 2009, the volcano has been inactive for over 25 years.

    The Summit of Mauna Loa stands 20 miles before you, reaching an elevation of 13,677 feet above sea level, and more than 31,000 feet above the ocean floor, with a volume of 10,000 cubic miles, Mauna Loa is the largest mountain on Earth. The volcanoes great mass is being built by successive flows of hot molten rock, or lava. The thickness of an individual lava flow averages 12 feet. Mauna Loa is classified as a shield volcano, a volcano with gently sloping sides resembling a warrior’s shield overturned. Kilauea, the volcano you are now standing on, is also a shield volcano. It has taken hundreds of centuries and countless eruptions for Mauna Loa to reach its present size. During the last 100 years the volcano has erupted more than 18 times. The next eruption could begin at any time. ~ marker at Volcano National Park


Big Island



Mauna Loa

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Volcano National Park


Big Island

Volcano National Park
Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii
One of Hawaii’s most notorious and famous National Parks, “Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park” was established in 1916 as a National Park, a International Biosphere Reserve in 1980, and a World Heritage Site in 1987 to demonstrate the history and living geological experiene of volcanism, geology, and techtonics. It covers the creative process of land masses, the science of volcanoes, migration, and evolution of land from the sea. It also covers the complex history of Polynesian travellers and their inhabitation of the Hawaiian Islands. The protective boundaries of the world’s most active volcanoes – Kilauea and Mauna Loa provides dramatic and creative volcanic landscapes in action. The National Park encompasses over 520 square miles of land for science, outdoor recreation, and preservation of nature and geology. It is a thriving mecca for observation, tourism, scientific study, hiking, and camping opportunities covering diverse environments ranging from the ocean/beach landscapes, lush tropical rainforests, arrid/barren deserts, and icy mountainous peaks. It hosts active volcanic eruption sites such as the Kilauea Caldera, Pu’u ‘O’o vent, and the Eastern Rift Zone. Historically, Kilauea and the Halema’uma’u caldera were considered the sacred home of Pele and traditionally were the location of offerings/sacrifices of gifts to the Goddess. A 1970 explosive eruption demolished a war party in the area killing men, women, and children leaving imprints of footprints in the lava that can be found in the desert. The first European visitors to the volcano were English missionaries William Ellis and American Asa Thurston in 1823 contributing greatly to the written word, publications, poems, literature and art that focused on the area that is now a National Park. More tourists were attracted to the area in the 1840’s settling entrepreneurs building hotels in the area from 1891 to 1904. In 1903, William R. Castle proposed the idea of making a park out of the area. In 1908 Thurston entertained James Rudolph Garfield, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior at the time, as well as a congressional delegation in 1909. By 1911, Governor Walter F. Frear drafted a bill to create “Kilauea National Park”. Boundary disputes stalled the idea, but by 1916 House Resolution 9525 signed by Woodrow Wilson made “Hawaii National Park” the 11th National Park in the United States. In 1960 it was split from the Haleakala National Park that it was a percentage part of. By 2004, an additional 115,788 acres were added to the Park (formerly of Kahuku Ranch) creating the largest land acquisition in Hawaiian history for 21.9 million dollars. A major explosion on March 19, 2008 sent debris over 74 acres damaging the Halema’uma’u overlook. A 1,100 ft lava tube on the park grounds was named after the Thurston family as “Thurston Lava Tube”. Several other hotspots of interest were developed in the Park such as the 1790 Footprints, the Ainapo Trail, Kilauea Caldera Crater, Puna-Ka’u Historic District, Ainahou Ranch, Volcano House, Whitney Seismograph Vault No. 29, Wilkes Campsite, art galleries, Thomas Jaggar Museum, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Bookstore, Gift Shop, Kilauea Military Camp, and the Visitor Center. Directions: The main entrance is located off the Hawaii Belt Road in Volcano, Big Island. From the Hawaii Belt Road, one used to be able to take the Chain of Craters Road past several craters to the coast near the town of Kalapana, but recent lava flows and eruptions have demolished the roads near the coastal zone. The park is one of America’s best National Parks. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.


Halema’uma’u Crater / Kilauea Caldera

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Pu’u o’o’


Big Island


Pu’u o’o

is a cindercone / spatter cone on the East Rift Zone of Kilauea in the Hawaiian Island of Big Island. It has been erupting continuously since January 3, 1983 making it the longest living rift zone eruption for the last two centuries. It has expanded over 37 square miles from 1983-1998 eruptions. Its name of “Hill of the ‘O’o Bird” or “digging stick” is Pu’u o’o’ in Hawaiian. It omes from the Hawaiian legend that Pele used her magic rod paoa to create volcanic pits and was named as such by volcanologists assigning letters to vents in the area. The 1998 eruption claimed over 180 houses including a church, a store, the Waha’ula Visitor Center, and many ancient Hawaiian sites including Waha’ula heiau. Its coastal highway closed since 1987 as lava flows covered 8 miles to a depth of 80 ft adding over 544 acres to Hawaii. 1990 flow destroyed the villages of Kalapana and Kaimu including Kaimu Bay and Kalapana Black Sand Beach. This one destroyed over 100 homes. As of this writing this one is now in its 25th year and the 57th eruptive episode.


Big Island

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Kilauea


Kilauea Caldera

Kilauea
Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii
K?lauea is one of the most spectacular volcanoes existing on Big Island in Hawaii. Rising 4,091 feet above sea level, the summit caldera is a broad shelf of uplands well beneath the long profile of Mauna Loa. It is a very low flat shield volcano lying against the southeast flank of the larger volcano known as Mauna Loa. It is one of 5 shield volcanoes that create the Hawaiian islands. The others are Kohala (extinct), Mauna Kea (dormant), Hualalai (dormant), Mauna Loa (active), and Kilauea (most active). The term “Kilauea” in Hawaiian means “spewing” or “much spreading” which refers to its frequent lava flows which has been flowing forth from from the Kilauea caldera/Pu’u ‘O’O crater since January 1983. Kilauea is the most active volcano on Earth and is also the most visited by tourists. It is because of this, volcanologists gather here and have a lab/station located on the rim of the caldera. One of the most recent volcanoes that join in effort to create the Hawaiian Archipelago islands as the Pacific Plate moves over the Hawaiian hotspot undersea. The 1983 eruption has been continuous to the date of this writing and onwards. 33 Eruptions have taken place since 1952 not including this 1983 occurence. She has been recorded to erupt in written history from as early as the 1820’s. Local history tells of the 1790 eruption that killed a party of warriors and their families traversing the area who were sent by the last chief of the island Keoua Kuahu/ula to resist Kamehameha I. In 1959 one of the most spectacular eruptions took place with lava fountaining nearly 580 meters into the sky. From 1969-1974 an eruption labelled “Mauna Ulu” began on May 24, 1969 and continued to July 22, 1974 being the longest flank eruption of any Hawaiian volcano in recorded history – creating a new vent spewing forth lava and adding significant land mass to the island. The 1983 eruption took place on January 3rd along the East Rift Zone from Pu’u ‘O’o and Kupa’ianaha vents, continously to this day, pushing lava flows travelling 11-12 km from the vents into the sea and to this date building over 2 km of new land. Additional lava flows in 1990 destroyed the towns of Kalapana and Kaimu, Kaimu Bay, Kalapana Black Sand Beach, and a large section of Rte 130. Most of her eruptions are non-explosive in the recent history but has had devestating large explosions in the past. Local legend places that this volcanoe is the specific home of the Hawaiian Goddess Pele. She only erupts when she is angry. Lava flows destroyed more homes in a 2008 eruption. Continuously erupting and flowing lava, one can view the flows at a place the government has set up an observation location. You an reach the caldera from Hilo via the Hawaii Belt Road which is State Route 11. The Caldera rests within Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park which encompasses a portion of the volcano with its visitor center located near the margin of the summit caldera to overlook the large pit crater called Halema’uma’u which measures 3 x 5 km. Plumes fissure and erupt from three locations – the Halema’uma’u Crater, the Pu’u ‘O’o Crater, and along the coast where the East Rift zone enters the ocean. The plumes create large blankets of vog (volcanic fog) that envelopes the island. 90% of the surface of this volcano is less than 1,100 years old, and 70% of the surface is less than 600 years old. Located in Volcano National Park, there is a visitor center with lots of information about Kilauea, the region, the ecology, the geology, with exhibits about the volcano, plants, animals, and cultural history. A 20 minute movie is available as well as ranger-led activities. A gift shop is also available.

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08.07.09: STL Cronicles/Hearth Quest: Chapter 29: ‘Big Island, Volcanoes’



Coming back from the Kehena Nude Beach, Big Island

From the journal of Sir Thomas “Rymour Oisin” Leaf: Friday, The 7th of Sextilis (Julius Caesar’s “August”) in the good year 2009 of the Common Era


Volcano-Papao, Big Island, Hawaii
“We arose pretty early. Paula, David, and I had a bountiful breakfast of eggs, meats, and lots of tropical fruits. Delicious! In the mistly heart of the Volcano rainforest. Onwards we drove into Papao and hit a coffee shop where David (Kawika) had an interview with a local touring company. Caught up on some blogging while Paula perused used books and David did his interview. They seemed impressed by him and after he left I eavesdropped that they were interested. We dropped Paula off for her errands while me and Kawika headed off to the beach and to see the lava flows. Pitstopped at Walmart to pick up a mask and snorkel before hitting the beaches. Our first stop was an infamous black sand nude beach where we partook of some full body tanning. I made the mistake of trying to go in for a swim – sharp lava rocks + thrashing waves + stupid naked boy = lots of abrasions, scratches, and wounds. Swim didn’t exactly work as the thrashing waves smashed me into the rocks. Couldn’t find a good place to get into the water well, even though other naked swimmers had the luck. After the beach and toying around with trying to open some coconuts, we headed off to anothe black sand beach – the newest addition to Big Island where the island is growing daily, where this new peninsula made of lava beds took over the housing development thirty years ago. Oddly, I was standing on land that I was older than. How’s that for planet growth? I’m actually older than the beach on which I stand. Now I feel ancient, especially watching young teenagers partying on the beach. Age. Never before did it dawn on me how much older I’m getting every year – until now, I felt really young. After wandering around the lava beds, we stopped at the cafe for lunch – fish n’ chips. Then onwards, Kawika took me to the ‘Warm pool’ where I took a dip in the hot volcanic water springs that were meeting the ocean. Then onwards to a snorkeling spot that Kawika knew of … beautiful and enchanting underseas explorations … multicolored fish, red coral anemone, tropical fish, cucumbers, corals of many varieties … I knew now I need to get back into Scuba and work on getting certified again. Problem is as an asthmatic, it takes the right instructors willing to risk training an asthmatic. My brother long ago was working on certifying and training me, but then he moved off to do undersea welding across the sea and when he came back, his instructor license had expired. :: sigh :: someday. After swimming, we went to pick up Paula – her nail appointment was still taking place, so we went next door for a sushi/sashimi dinner with lots of sake. From there we drove out to the lava flows to see the island in formation and growth in the dark to watch the lava flow into the ocean. Of course, we were under-equipped again with flashlights, and stumbled across the treacherous lava beds with thousands of other folks trying to hop into their flashlights and not fall into crevices. A 1/2 mile walk across the lava fields shouldn’t of taken as long as it did, but without the flashlight and primarily navigating by moon light, it was a bit tricky. Because of safety, they kept the viewing area a distance away from the flows so you could only see it in the distance. Photos didn’t work out, but the video got better shots than the camera did. Afterwards we went back to cold and rainy Volcano for a nightcap back in the 4,000 ft elevation zone. Hawaii is an amazing set of islands. I wouldn’t mind living here, not at all.”


Lava Beds

Kehena Nude Beach / Dolphin Beach

Kalapana Lava Beds

Kalapana

Kalapana Village Cafe

The Coconut Palm

Pineapple Plant

Papaya Plant

Hot Ponds

Waiopae (Kapaho) Tidepools

Kilauea Lava Flow

Big Island, Hawaii


Bruises from Kehena beach

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Kilauea Lava Flow


Kilauea Lava Flow

Kilauea Lava Flow
* End of Highway 130 on the east side not far from Kalapana, Big Island, Hawaii *
Flowing out of the active volcano K?lauea on the Big Island, comes one of the world’s most frequent outpouring of lava. Lava has been issuing continuously at Pu?u ???? since January 1983. In 1998 K?lauea was said to be the most active volcano on the Earth, whose volume of erupted material could pave a road across the world 3 times (according to wikipedia). This is one of the most recent volcanoes in the world. This is also the legendary home of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano Goddess, whom when angry, erupts. Since the 1983 eruiption along the East rift zone from the Pu?u ???? vent and also the K?pa?ianah? vent, Kilauea continues to produce lava flows that travel 11 to 12 km from these vents through tube networks that discharge into the sea to two sites, Wahaula and Kamokuna. In the early to middle 1980s K?lauea was known as “The Drive-By Volcano” because anyone could ride by and see the lava fountains some as much as 1,000 feet in the air from their car. In 1987, the flows destroyed the Royal Gardens Subdivision and now is one of the cheapest subdivision of lots – some of which sell for approximately $500, and is the newest real estate in the world, but there is little chance of ever rebuilding on them. More destructive flows hit in 1990, destroying the towns of Kalapana, Kaim?, Kaim? Bay, Kalapana Black Sand Beach, and a large section of State Rte. 130, which now abruptly dead-ends at the lava flow. More flows in 2008 destroyed an abandoned neighbourhood. At the end of Highway 130, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials setup a viewing center where people can come view the active flows daily. As of my visit on August 7, 2009 – these viewings are still active. When we went, we were very under-equipt, as it is very important to listen to their advice of good shoes/boots, flashlights, and clothing. We had one flashlight amongst three of us running at different paces, and had poor shoes, so it was quite a treacherous 1/2 mile hike into the the viewing area on sharp brutal lava rock fields with holes, pits, crevaches, and stumbling zones. Highly recommended to wear comfortable socks, walking shoes, hiking boots, and clothing prepared for the various climates of hot, damp, or cold. Daytime bring sunscreen, shades, and a hat. Night-time were jackets and/or sweatshirts, windbreakers, raincoats, or hoodies. (watch the weather and prepare) Bring water! Its still quite a distance from the active area where it flows into the ocean, so sometimes is hard to see, though best seen at night. This is for safety. As you can tell from the night photos, its hard to see more than a leaping glowing haze, other than the daytime pics shown here that where purchased from one of the many vendors in the parking lot. Thousands of visitors come here daily. It can get quite crowded. Try to get to the area by sunset and stick around for dark viewing. Viewing point doesn’t open until 2 pm and closes at 10 pm. Cars are not allowed to enter past 8 pm. Gloves are recommended in case you fall so you don’t tear up your hands. Binoculars are a bonus. Follow the rules at the Park, listen to the Rangers, keep your car locked and valuables out of sight. It was a fun experience. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

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Thurston Lava Tube, Volcano National Park, Big Island, Hawaii

Thurston Lava Tube
Volcano National Park, Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii
While visiting a friend who lives in Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii we took a late night cruise through the Thurston Lava Tube … which was absolutely fascinating. Not the first tube for me to go down as I’ve been in some in Washington and New Mexico, but have to say I’m always impressed by them. I could picture placing a underground home in one someday. So what are lava tubes? They are natural conduits formed when an active low-viscosity lava flow develops a continuous hard crust which thickens and forms a roof above the still-flowing lava stream. It is a geological tube through which lava travels or once has travelled through beneath the surface of a lava flow that is expelled out by a volcano during an eruption. They are either actively draining lava from a source or are extinct meaning lava has cooled off and left a long cave-like tunnel. This is an extinct tube. As lava leaves the point of eruption in continuous extremely hot channels with cool surroundings that develop walls around them as the surrounding laval cools and the channel melts its way deeper – they often get deep enough to crust over forming an insulating tube that keeps the lava molten and acts as a conduit for the flowing lava. Pahoehoe flows are where lava is flowing in an unchanneled fanlike manner as it leaves the volcanic source taking a lava tube to lead back to the eruption point. These are areas of surface-moving lava that has cooled forming a smooth or rough ropy surface. Once the flow hardens, it starts to block its source, and only the subsurface lava is still hot enough to break out at a point creating a new source or underground channel known as a pahoehoe tube. Each tube often exhibits step marks called ‘flow ledges’ or ‘flow lines’ on the interior walls that show the various depths that the lava flowed. Most tubes have pahoehoe floors commonly covered with breakdown from the ceiling. Lavacicles (stalactites) or lava tube speleothems form in either splash, shark tooth, or tubular varieties as well as tubular lava helictites (drip stalagmites) are often formed in the tubes. Beads of lava that extrude from small holes that ran down the wall are known as ‘runners’. Sometimes crystalization occurs in the tubes forming crusts of small crystals from mineral deposits in the flows. Lava tubes have been measured to be up to 14-15 meters wide and as deep as 1-15 meters below the surface – they can extend for miles in many instances. For example, the Mauna Loa tube runs over 30 miles from its eruption point. The Thurston Lava Tube is part of Hawaii’s Volcano National Park and is easy to access within the park for a nice excursion it’s definitely worth seeing. The Park was established in 1916 and remains an active Volcanic area. Active eruptive sites include the main caldera of K?lauea and a more active but remote vent called Pu?u ????. K?lauea and its Halema?uma?u caldera are traditionally considered the sacred home of the volcano goddess Pele, and Hawaiians visited the crater to offer gifts to this Goddess. This tube is named after the Thurston family, the first western visitors to the site. They were English missionaries, William Ellis and American Asa Thurston in 1823. Their grandson, Lorrin A. Thurston, was the driving force to establish this park in 1916. There is an undeveloped stretch of this Lava tube that extends an additional 330 meters beyond the developed one show in these pictures and it dead-ends into the hillside. While blocked by a chain link fence to keep unwary visitors from entering, the easily traversed stretch is open to the public and accessible through a gate in the fence. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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