(BIVN) – Scientists with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory were on Hualālai volcano last week, upgrading the Hualālai Repeater station, and installing a new webcam. The webcam provides a view of Mauna Loa’s northwest flank.
The repeater station relays monitoring signals from nearby stations back the observatory. It is powered by batteries – which were replaced during the visit – that store energy generated by solar panels. The electronics board for the station was also replaced with a 48-volt system electronics board.
The site of the station is located on the southeast side of Hualālai, at an elevation of 2,160 meters (7,090 feet) above sea level.
The station upgrades and new webcam were funded by the USGS Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019, which were provided in response to Kīlauea’s 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapse, USGS says.
Hualālai is the third youngest and third-most historically active volcano on the Island of Hawai‘i. From the USGS:
Though Hualālai is not nearly as active as Mauna Loa or Kīlauea, geologic mapping of the volcano shows that 80 percent of Hualālai’s surface has been covered by lava flows in the past 5,000 years. In the past few decades, when most of the resorts, homes, and commercial buildings were built on the flanks of Hualālai, earthquake activity beneath the volcano has been low. In 1929, however, an intense swarm of more than 6,200 earthquakes rattled the area around Hualālai Volcano for more than a month. The earthquakes were most likely caused by an intrusion of magma beneath the volcano. Two large earthquakes (each about magnitude 6.5) destroyed houses, water tanks, stone fences, and roadways. For these reasons, Hualālai is considered a potentially dangerous volcano that is likely to erupt again.