Report on Kilauea (United States) — 27 August-2 September 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 27 August-2 September 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, 27 August-2 September 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 27 August-2 September 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.
During 27 August-2 September glow was visible overnight above several outgassing openings in Pu`u `O`o's crater floor. On 28 August there was a brief reduction in surface activity. On 1 September aerial views showed small lava ponds within the NE, SE, and N pits within the crater, and a crusted pond surface in the SE pit. The June 27th lava flow remained active. On 1 September active lava was 12.6 km from the vent, and about 1.9 km from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. Lava a few hundred meters behind the front had flowed into a large ground crack and disappeared from view; a line of steam from the crack extended E. The most distant steaming along the crack was 12.8 km from the vent and 1.7 km from the Forest Reserve boundary. Small breakouts were active closer to Pu`u `O`o, about midway along the length of the June 27th flow.
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.