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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 7 April-13 April 2010

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 April-13 April 2010
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 April-13 April 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (7 April-13 April 2010)


Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During 7-13 April, HVO reported incandescence from a 60-m-wide active lava surface about 200 m below a 130-m-wide vent in the floor of Kilauea's Halema'uma'u crater. The lava surface circulated and both rose and drained through a pit in the cavity floor; a few times the level fluctuated between 235 and 260 m below the surface. Rocks from the vent walls fell into the pond, causing spattering. Plumes from the vent drifted mainly SW, dropping small amounts of ash, and occasionally Pele's hair and Pele's tears, downwind. Measurements indicated that the sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit remained elevated; 600 and 500 tonnes per day were measured on 8 and 9 April, respectively.

Lava from beneath the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex flowed SE through the upper portion of a lava tube system and broke out onto the surface. Lava flows moved SE down Pulama pali.

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)