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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 22 October-28 October 2014

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 October-28 October 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, 22 October-28 October 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (22 October-28 October 2014)


Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During 22-28 October HVO reported that Kilauea’s 27 June NE-trending lava flow continued to be active. On 22 October a narrow lava flow (less than 50 m wide) that had overtaken the flow front during the previous few days moved into a small gully; the advancement rate was variable and sometimes as high as 300 m/day. Another breakout upslope continued to advance at a slower rate. On 24 October HVO scientists aboard an overflight measured the cross sectional area of the lava tube feeding the flow; the measurement suggested that the volume of lava being supplied to the flow from the Pu'u 'O'o vent had slightly increased.

At approximately 0350 on 25 October lava crossed Apa’a Street and continued to advance towards Pahoa town. Throughout the morning the flow moved down the Pahoa cemetery driveway and then turned SE into adjoining pasture. At 0900 on 26 October the flow was an estimated 140 m wide. The next day it had narrowed to 100 m wide and was about 570 m from Pahoa Village Road. At about 0200 on 28 October the flow had reached the first occupied residential property. The leading edge of the flow was less than 50 m wide but increased to 150 m upslope. At 1730 the lava flow was 310 m in a straight-line distance from Pahoa Village Road and about 900 meters in a straight-line distance from Highway 130. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Warning.

According to news articles, Pahoa town, residence to 800-900 people, consists of small shops and homes. A school and a few roads were closed. Crews were building temporary access roads and trying to build berms to divert lava away from the highly traveled Highway 130.

The circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u Crater. Gas emissions remained elevated. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts tephra onto nearby areas; smaller particles may have been dropped several kilometers away. At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from several outgassing openings in the crater floor.

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.

Sources: CNN, US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), CBC