Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

First, a thank-you message for my readers: 

For the first year of running this blog, most of my audience were friends and followers on Google+, or those that follow the Geoblogosphere community (geology bloggers).  I would normally average about 100 views per post and had amassed 6,000 views by the one-year anniversary of this blog.  Last week a funny thing happened.  My latest post apparently caught the eyes of some folks who tweeted it around, leading to a rapid surge of retweets and shares on various message boards and online communities.  You can only imagine my surprise when I logged in the next day to see that my views had skyrocketed.  At first, most of my views were coming from the science community on twitter who had linked to my blog, but not long after, websites Slashdot and Instapundit posted links to me and popular bloggers Maria Popova and Ed Yong both shared my post as well.  In about 4 days, I went from 6,000 views to 70,000 views.  I am of course, very very ecstatic to have reached this feat.
There are a few people that really deserve recognition in helping me achieve this overwhelming popularity.  Charles Carrigan, Caroll Karns, and Ron Schott were some of the first readers of my blog, all of whom are bloggers themselves.  They shared encouraging words and constructive feedback that really helped me get started.  My best friend Phillip Kissell, spends a lot of time on Google Earth, perusing the globe with me.  He even wrote a guest blog for me.  My mom is probably my biggest fan and routinely brags about my blog to everyone.

So to all the friends, family, professors, online geology community, Google Plussers, and readers,  Thank you for everything!

Now, it's time to get back to business.

This week's post features the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii, an active volcanic hot spot and one of two states that I still have yet to visit.  The Pu'u O'o crater shown below is a cinder cone associated with the Kilauea Volcano and according to Wikipedia, it has been erupting since 1983.

The animation below shows the years: 2002, 2005, 2010, and 2011.  Some of the things to  observe here are:
The western end of the crater showing the most noticeable changes of shape.
The glowing lava visible in the 2011 image.
The addition of flows and cinder build up on the southeastern slope. 

I decided to try this animated gif version instead of the previous, image by image layout.  I don't particularly like how this limits the time you can spend looking closely at an image, but I post the coordinates at the bottom so you can copy paste them into Google Earth yourself.  I like that the animated gif condenses the space taken up by the blog and accentuates the change in details between each image.
However, I'm not sure how well the gif works on the smartphone view, so I may end up switching back to the old format if this becomes a big issue.  Just let me know I suppose.


You can find it yourself on Google Earth using these coords:     19°23'15.61"N     155°06'21.55"W

More info: Wikipedia: Pu'u O'o

Check back next week to celebrate the 2012 Olympic Games in Google Earth Time Machine style!


  1. I personally like the individual pictures. It makes it easier to compare the images. That said, the animated gif version would work better if the images were aligned so that each image overlays on the same spot as the previous picture. It's difficult to spot features and changes when the reference point in the image jumps each time it changes. After the picture changes, by the time I find what I'm looking for, it changes again.

    1. Yeah, I might end up doing both on future posts. We'll see. Some of the other places I've found align much better so there isn't any "jumping"

  2. thanks for sharing...