New Publication Marks HVO’s Century of Science

April 5, 2012, 12:28 PM HST
* Updated April 5, 12:29 PM
Listen to this Article
1 minute
Loading Audio...

This year marks 100 years of continuous monitoring of eruptions and earthquakes by the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, and the USGS has issued a new publication to mark the occasion.

“The Story of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory—A Remarkable First 100 Years of Tracking Eruptions and Earthquakes” recounts the founding of HVO and its groundbreaking achievements in the science of volcano monitoring.

The USGS described the 62-page, full-color booklet as written in a reader-friendly style to appeal to anyone interested in earth science and volcanoes.

“Born from cracks opened by earthquakes and fed by fountains of hot molten lava, the volcanoes of Hawaiʻi rise as much as 30,000 feet above the floor of the surrounding deep sea, making them the largest volcanoes on the planet,” USGS Director Marcia McNutt said in a statement.

“It is a marvelous detective story to read how scientists have used data collected over the last 100 years to understand volcanic history extending back a million years, as well as what the volcanic future might be,” he said.


The monitoring of data and providing of eruption forecasts has been a key mission of HVO since 1912, when pioneering geologist Thomas A. Jaggar founded the observatory perched on the rim of Kilauea volcano’s summit caldera.


The booklet describes the development of tools and techniques used by HVO and contains archival photos documenting dramatic changes in Kilauea’s landscape.

The booklet authored by HVO Scientist-in-charge James P. Kauahikaua and geologists Janet L. Babb and Robert I. Tilling is available free on-line at

A limited number of free printed booklets can be ordered for a $5 handling fee from the USGS on-line store at or by writing to USGS Information Services, Boxx 25286, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225; calling 1-888-ASK-USGS; or by email at [email protected]



Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Mahalo for Subscribing


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments