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Lava Hazard Information

Information on Lava Hazards and Risks

Lava Flow Hazard Zones

The below map shows lava-flow hazard zones for the five volcanoes on the Island of Hawaiʻi:

  1. Kīlauea (active, last eruption: 2018)
  2. Mauna Loa (active, last eruption: 1984)
  3. Hualalai (active, last eruption: 1801)
  4. Mauna Kea (dormant)
  5. Kohala (extinct)

Volcano boundaries are shown as heavy, dark bands, reflecting the overlapping of lava flows from adjacent volcanoes along their common boundary. Hazard-zone boundaries are drawn as double lines because of the geologic uncertainty in their placement.

Explanation

Lava-flow hazard zones - Based on location of eruptive vents, past lava coverage, and topography

  • Zone 1: Includes summits and rift zones of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, where vents have been repeatedly active in historical time
  • Zone 2: Areas adjacent to and downslope of zone 1. Fifteen to twenty-five percent of zone 2 has been covered by lava since 1800, and twenty-five to seventy-five percent has been covered within the past 750 years. Relative hazard within zone 2 decreases gradually as one moves away from zone 1
  • Zone 3: Areas less hazardous than zone 2 because of greater distance from recently active vents and (or) because of topography. One to five percent of zone 3 has been covered since 1800, and fifteen to seventy-five percent has been covered within the past 750 years
  • Zone 4: Includes all of Hualālai, where the frequency of eruptions is lower than that for Kīlauea or Mauna Loa. Lava coverage is proportionally smaller, about five percent since 1800, and less than fifteen percent within the past 750 years
  • Zone 5: Area on Kīlauea currently protected by topography
  • Zone 6: Two areas on Mauna Loa, both protected by topography
  • Zone 7: Younger part of domant volcano Mauna Kea. Twenty percent of this area was covered by lava in the past 10,000 years
  • Zone 8: Remaining part of Mauna Kea. Only a few percent of this area has been covered by lava in the past 10,000 years 
  • Zone 9: Kohala Volcano, which last erupted over 60,000 years ago

Eruption map 2018 (2)

Source

For detailed explanation and source information, visit United States Geological Survey


Kīlauea Eruption Risk Assessment (KERA)

The Pacific Disaster Center prepared the Kīlauea Eruption Risk Assessment for Hawaii County as an in-kind service following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption.  

The document identifies both volcanic multi-hazard exposure and vulnerabilities – such as access to transportation, socioeconomic status and household composition – for residents in or around lava zones 1 and 2 on Kīlauea and Mauna Loa.

The County will use the KERA results to inform a more detailed volcanic risk assessment with results organized by Community Development Plan districts. It will examine the exposure of people, property, critical facilities/lifelines, environmental resources and cultural assets to the volcanic hazard, as well as other high hazards, such as tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, landslides, wildfires, storm surge and sea level rise.

These results will be included in a Volcanic Risk Assessment Report and will be used to inform the update to the County General Plan, County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan and Kīlauea Recovery Strategic Plan.

 

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