Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Makes Progress Toward Sept. 22 Reopening

By Hawaii.com Team

This time-lapse video shows Halema‘uma‘u crater and Kilauea caldera in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as seen from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. It includes roughly one image for every day between April 14, 2018, and July 11, 2018.

The lava lake is visible early in the video, with overflows onto the caldera floor on April 23, but the lake vanishes from sight in early May as pressure in the summit magma reservoir decreases.

Gas and ash plumes associated with explosive activity are visible in May.

Large-scale subsidence of the caldera floor around Halema‘uma‘u begins at the end of May and continues to the present. The volume of Halema‘uma‘u is now more than seven times larger than it was before the onset of this subsidence.

Reopening Slated for September 22, 2018

A team including National Park Service Geomorphologist Eric Bilderback log earthquake damage and assess stability along Crater Rim Trail. Photo: National Parks Service/Jon Christensen.


Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is completing emergency repairs and making progress toward reopening parts of the park by 10 a.m. on Sat., Sept. 22, 2018 National Public Lands Day, park officials said in a news release.

As of August 31, 32 buildings have been inspected, nonpotable water has been restored to nine buildings, and 20 miles of trail have been assessed by the National Park Service geomorphologist.

On Sept. 10, a team of engineers from the Federal Highway Administration will begin assessments on park roads.

Areas of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to Open First

Large Plume of Ash Following Earthquake viewed from Jaggar Museum overlook. Photo: National Park Service.


Following a lengthy closure due to months of hazardous volcanic and seismic activity at the summit of Kilauea, the park is preparing to reopen the following areas on Sept. 22 by 10 a.m.:

— Kilauea Visitor Center (closes at 5 p.m.)

— Hawaii Pacific Parks Association store at Kilauea Visitor Center (closes at 5 p.m.)

— Crater Rim Trail between Volcano House and Kilauea Military Camp

— Sulphur Banks Trail

— Crater Rim Drive to Steam Vents

— Kilauea Iki Overlook and parking lot

— Devastation Trail and Pu‘u Pua‘i

— Crater Rim Drive to Keanakako‘i Crater, for pedestrians and bicyclists only

— Mauna Loa Road to Kipukapuaulu; open to pedestrians and bicyclists past Kipukapuaulu

— Sections of Escape Road from Highway 11

— Chain of Craters Road

The Volcano Art Center Gallery and Kilauea Military Camp also plan to open on Sept. 22. Limited services may be available at Volcano House.

A new Hawaii Volcanoes National Park “Recovery” webpage is now available to share updates and photos with the public: www.nps.gov/havo/recovery.htm.

For the first time in many years, there is no molten lava to see in the park. The recent eruption saw the disappearance of the summit lava lake and lava flows from Pu‘u ‘O‘o have ceased.

The entrance station will open by 10 a.m. on Sept. 22, and the park will go back to being open 24 hours a day.

An initial interior inspection was completed on Thurston Lava Tube, but additional assessments are needed, according to the release.

This story was originally published as VIDEO: Time-lapse video documents dramatic expansion of Halema‘uma‘u and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park makes progress toward Sept. 22 reopening on the HawaiiTribune-Herald.com.

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