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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 26 March-1 April 2014

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 March-1 April 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 March-1 April 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (26 March-1 April 2014)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 26 March-1 April HVO reported that the circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater. Gas emissions remained elevated. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash, spatter, and Pele's hair onto nearby areas; smaller particles may have been dropped several kilometers away. At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from spatter cones on the N and S portions of the crater floor, and from the lava pond in the NE spatter cone. The Kahauale’a 2 lava flow, fed by the NE spatter cone, continued to advance, with breakout lava flows from the main stalled lobe, and burn adjoining forest. A satellite image acquired on 27 March showed active breakouts 5.5 and 8 km NE of Pu’u 'O'o.

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)