Report on Kilauea (United States) — 9 June-15 June 2004
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 June-15 June 2004
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2004. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 June-15 June 2004. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 13 June, two collapses occurred at Kilauea's western lava delta, sending sizable chunks of the delta into the sea. On 14 June, most lava was being supplied to the ocean through lava tubes, but several surface lava flows were visible on the delta and traveling down the old sea cliff behind the Wilipe`a delta. The larger eastern lava delta had several active lava entries into the ocean, mostly larger than those on the western delta. All vents were active in the crater of Pu`u `O`o. A few small earthquakes were recorded beneath the summit of Kilauea and no tremor was detected. Tremor at Pu`u `O`o was at a moderate-to-high level.
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.