Never a typical 9-to-5 workday at Kilauea


Geologists at Kilauea summit’s Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory bring new meaning to the words “field work” every day.

Just check out these photos of a typical day at the office for Kilauea geologists, posted on the observatory’s Web site this weekend.

Last week was a relatively quiet one on the Kilauea summit. There was a small blast of rock dust at the Halemaumau vent on Wednesday. But otherwise, summit tradewinds from the northeast returned, carrying ash plumes from Halemaumau and Pu’u O’o vents southeast to the sea.

The result? Enough time to snap some photos of the geologists’ 9-to-5.

Yes, that really is a radar gun the geologist in the photo above is pointing at molten lava as it speeds through an underground tube system near Pu’u O’o. Who knew the technology accurate enough to trap speeders on Oahu’s H-1 freeway was good enough for measuring the speed of lava, too.

never_typical_nine_to_five_job_KilaueaIn the second photo (right), geologists stand just yards away from an open crack in the Pu’u O’o lava tube to measure the chamber’s size. They combine this measurement with the flow-speed measurements to calculate the volume of lava moving through the tube.

(Click on the photos to enlarge.)

You can keep current with what Kilauea geologists are up to—and better still, the one-of-a-kind photos they’re always taking—by clicking HVO’s photo archive here.

We make it a part of our own 9-to-5 every day.

Categories: Hawai‘i Island