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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 17 April-23 April 2002

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 April-23 April 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 April-23 April 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (17 April-23 April 2002)


Kilauea

United States

19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During 18-22 April, surface activity was visible at a minimum of two vent areas of Pu`u` O`o's crater and at the rootless shields. No surface lava flows were visible on Pulama pali. Generally, tremor at Pu`u` O`o was low and only a few small earthquakes and low-level tremor occurred at Kilauea's caldera. During the report period, slow, small deflations occurred at Pu`u` O`o and the caldera.

Geologic Background. Kilauea, which overlaps the E flank of the massive Mauna Loa shield volcano, has been Hawaii's most active volcano during historical time. Eruptions are prominent in Polynesian legends; written documentation extending back to only 1820 records frequent summit and flank lava flow eruptions that were interspersed with periods of long-term lava lake activity that lasted until 1924 at Halemaumau crater, within the summit caldera. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several stages about 1500 years ago and during the 18th century; eruptions have also originated from the lengthy East and SW rift zones, which extend to the sea on both sides of the volcano. About 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is formed of lava flows less than about 1100 years old; 70% of the volcano's surface is younger than 600 years. A long-term eruption from the East rift zone that began in 1983 has produced lava flows covering more than 100 km2, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new coastline to the island.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)