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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 14 August-20 August 2013

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 August-20 August 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 August-20 August 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (14 August-20 August 2013)


Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During 14-20 August HVO reported that the circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater; the lake level was as high as 36 m below the Halema'uma'u crater floor on 16 and 18 August. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash, spatter, and Pele's hair onto nearby areas.

At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from spatter cones on the N and S portions of the crater floor. The Kahaualeā€™a 2 lava flow, fed by the NE spatter cone, was active with scattered break-out flows and burned the forest N of Pu'u 'O'o. On 18 August on 1330 the E flank of the N spatter cone apparently burst, causing lava flows to sporadically rush from the cone and cover a large part of the crater floor by the next morning. Peace Day activity, fed by lava tubes extending from Pu'u 'O'o, consisted of some breakouts on the pali and coastal plain, and an ocean entry outside of the National Park boundary to the E.

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)