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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 4 July-10 July 2007

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 July-10 July 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, 4 July-10 July 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (4 July-10 July 2007)


Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


On 2 July, HVO scientists confirmed new lava flows at the bottom of Kilauea's Pu'u 'O'o crater and raised the Volcanic Alert Level from Advisory to Watch and Aviation Color Code from Yellow to Orange. During 3-10 July, the lava lake grew and was active. On 6 July, two vents that fed the growing lava lake were identified: the W vent near the former Beehive location and the E vent near the former East Pond location. On 8 July, a small area of crust in the lava lake intermittently fumed.

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)