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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 3 August-9 August 2005

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 August-9 August 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 August-9 August 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (3 August-9 August 2005)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Up to seven ocean-entry points were visible off the W-facing front of the East Lae`apuki lava delta during 3-9 August; others were hidden from view off the E-facing front. On Pulama pali, the W branch of the PKK flow reached its greatest extent of the week on 5 August, when it broadened to include a couple of hundred meters of scattered breakouts and reached from about the 1,500-foot elevation down to about 850 ft. Background volcanic tremor was about normal at Kilauea's summit. Volcanic tremor was at a moderate level at Pu`u `O`o.

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)