New map offers comprehensive look at Hawaii’s ever-changing geology

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Every eruption or earthquake experienced in Hawaii has a direct impact on the state’s landscape.

And the latest geological map from the US Geology Survey shows how Hawaii’s founding has changed over time.

The map spanned 15 years, and geologists like John Sinton helped digitize renderings going back years to provide the full picture.

“We’re not trying to assess change on the scale of decades, but rather take the state’s body of knowledge about geology and put it into a modern, easily accessible format for anyone to read. use — land planners, scientists, whatever,” said Sinton, professor emeritus of earth sciences at UH-Manoa.

The team of geologists, led by David R. Sherrod, used several tools to create the new map and what helps as a key resource is having Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. world, in our backyard.

“When he’s active, there’s nothing like it,” Sinton said. “It’s exciting, but it’s educational. You see things you can’t get out of books and you can’t get out of lectures.

National park officials say the 2018 Puna eruption added 875 acres of new land, and Sinton says it also revealed the vast interconnectedness of Hawaii’s volcanic systems.

“We tried to figure this out for every geologist who visited the islands for a few hundred years,” Sinton said. “It gave us primary data on how this system works.

“What is happening in Puna is related to the collapse at the top and even in the middle of the fault.”

While the latest geologic map shows Kilauea working, the scientific community is also watching Mauna Loa – where the eruption is a certainty, but the timeline is unknown.

“Mauna Loa is being monitored and we know it’s swollen, quite swollen,” Sinton said.

“We know there is magma in the volcano. We don’t know when it will erupt next, but we know that magma is feeding the volcano.”

The complete map and all its images are available by clicking here.

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