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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 13 June-19 June 2007

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 13 June-19 June 2007
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 13 June-19 June 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (13 June-19 June 2007)


Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During 13-19 June, lava from Kilauea flowed SE across a growing lava delta into the ocean at the Poupou entry. On 14 June, the Petunia flow went over the top of the Pulama pali. On 16 June, the front of the Petunia flow advanced down the Pulama pali and was about 90-180 m wide.

On 17 June, a swarm of earthquakes and rapid deflation began at 0215 in the upper E rift zone. The earthquakes were centered about 1 km SW of Mauna Ulu and about 1.5-3 km deep. About 70 earthquakes were recorded in the first 2 hours; at least 10 of those earthquakes were M 3 or greater. NPS crews evacuated visitors and closed the Chain of Craters road and the Crater Rim Drive between Jaggar museum and the Thurston lava tube parking lot. Fresh cracks about 2 cm wide opened in the Chain of Craters road near the Mauna Ulu turnoff. GPS receivers in the area of most intense seismic activity documented an approximate 10 cm of widening across the rift zone, near Makaopuhi crater. HVO observers noted rockfalls from the S wall of Pu'u 'O'o cone and collapse of the crater floor around the vents.

On 18 June, the earthquake swarm continued at a lower rate; about 10 to 15 small earthquakes per hour were recorded compared to more than about 100 per hour the morning of 17 June. Strong tremor beneath the summit was recorded and deflation continued. GPS receivers continued to show widening across the rift zone to more than 40 cm. According to a news article, Crater Rim drive and a few trails were re-opened to the public.

On 18 June, the earthquake swarm continued at a lower rate; about 10 to 15 small earthquakes per hour were recorded compared to more than about 100 per hour the morning of 17 June. Strong tremor beneath the summit was recorded and deflation continued. GPS receivers continued to show widening across the rift zone to more than 40 cm. According to a news article, Crater Rim drive and a few trails were re-opened to the public.

Seismicity decreased on 20 June and GPS receivers no longer showed extension on the rift zone. Aerial views of the crater floor and SW flank indicated more subsidence since 18 June.

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.

Sources: Associated Press, US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)