Hawaii Field Trip 2008

Students from G&G100 Natural Disasters in 2007 went on a field trip of Hawaiian disasters in March 2008.  The trip was led by G&G100 Professor Dave Bercovici with assistance by postdoctoral scientist  Dr. Chloé Michaut (currently Assistant Professor  at the IPG in Paris) and graduate student Madalyn Blondes (currently staff scientist at the USGS).  The group first went to O`ahu and spent two days exploring the Ko`olau Pali, the site of a massive landslide where most of the eastern side of O`ahu collapsed into the ocean millions of years ago, certainly sending out a colossal tsunami toward Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. However much of the trip was spent on the Big Island of Hawai`i where we first explored  Hilo and it’s historic markers of tsunami from massive earthquakes in Alaska and Chile in the 1940s and 1960s.  We spent several days at  Volcano Park and around Kilauea crater (much of which was blocked off because of activity in the Hale Ma’uma’u crater, that exploded days after we left), and several hikes including a memorable trek across the bottom of Kilauea Iki crater. We then ventured around the southern end of the Island and hiked to the Green Sand Beach, which is loaded with pure olivine grains washed from basalt flows. We also snorkeled in one of the last pristine reefs in Honaunau Bay in South Kona,  by one of the largest ancient Hawaiian “Places of Refuge”  (Pu`uhonua o Honaunau) where refugees from war and violators of “kapu” (taboo) could find sanctuary.  The trip closed with a tour led by the USGS  Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Director Dr. Jim Kauahikaua of the live lava flows on the Kalapana Peninsula, where Bercovici got to demonstrate his lava scooping skills (but with a stick instead of a rock hammer).