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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 9 June-15 June 2010

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 June-15 June 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, 9 June-15 June 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (9 June-15 June 2010)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 9-15 June HVO reported that activity at Kilauea continued from the summit and the east rift zone. At the summit, the level of a lava-pool surface remained mostly stable in the deep pit inset within the floor of Halema'uma'u crater; glow from the vent was visible. A plume from the vent mainly drifted SW, dropping small amounts of tephra downwind. Vigorous bubbling of the lava surface was seen during 14-15 June.

At the east rift zone, lava flows that broke out of the TEB lava-tube system at 580 m elevation built up rootless shields. Minor surface lava flows from the shields were often active on the pali and the coastal plain, and advanced along the W side of the TEB flow field towards the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. The Pu'u 'O'o web camera recorded a growing and sometimes circulating lava pond on the crater floor that was an estimated 300 x 125 m in dimension. The pond was fed predominantly from a source near the N rim of the Pu'u 'O'o, with some contributions from a source near the S shore.

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)