Think about Volcanic Hazards (Grades 9-12)

Activity 11 is an exercise designed to make students aware of the hazards and responsibilities of living on the Island of Hawaii. The hazard map that is need for this activity is available on the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory homepage.

Activity 11 Think about Volcanic Hazards

Read the following information about lava flow hazards on the island of Hawaii and answer the questions below.

In 1974 Don Mullineaux and Don Peterson of the U.S. Geological Survey published a report on the volcanic hazards on the Island of Hawaii. Although the report was well written, accurate, and told of the dangers of living on active volcanoes, it was largely ignored by the public. The lack of dissemination of this useful information was probably due to access to, or interest in, reading scientific reports. To remedy this situation and in response to the hazard posed by the current eruption and future eruptions the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, in cooperation with Hawaii County Civil Defense published Volcanic and Seismic Hazards on the Island of Hawaii. This pamphlet is easy to read, well illustrated, and available at public libraries. The pamphlet contains a lava flow hazard map with 9 zones. Zone 1 is the summit areas and rift zones of Kilauea and Mauna Loa Volcanoes. Zone 2 is the area adjacent to, and below, the rift zones of Kilauea and Mauna Loa Volcanoes. The current eruption originated in zone 1 of Kilauea's east rift zone and sent lava flows downslope into areas designated as zone 2.

  1. What zone do you live in?

  2. Would you build your home in zone 1 or 2? Why or why not?

  3. Why do you think geologists make maps showing the hazards associated with volcanoes?

  4. What would be the best way to disseminate this information to the general public?

  5. Do you think the County of Hawaii should use the lava flow hazard map to restrict new construction and development to only certain areas?

  6. Should government agencies supply funds to families that have lost their homes to rebuild in zones 1 and 2?

Other Activities To VolcanoWorld