Report on Kilauea (United States) — 15 November-21 November 2006
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 November-21 November 2006
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2006. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 November-21 November 2006. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 15-21 November, lava from Kilauea continued to flow off of a lava delta into the ocean at the East Lae'apuki and East Ka'ili'ili entries. During 15-18 November, break-out flows were visible on the Pulama pali. Incandescence was intermittently visible from the East Pond and January vents, South Wall complex, and Drainhole vent in Pu'u 'O'o's crater. On 18 November, the Drainhole vent twice ejected spatter as high as 25 m above its rim. Summit inflation S of Halema'uma'u caldera continued. Tremor at Pu'u 'O'o remained at a typical moderate 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.