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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 23 January-29 January 2008


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
23 January-29 January 2008
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2008. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 January-29 January 2008. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (23 January-29 January 2008)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Based on observations during overflights, and web camera views when weather permitted, HVO reported that during 23-29 January activity from Kilauea's fissure segment D was concentrated at the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) shield and satellitic shields to the SE. Lava flows issued from the tops and flanks of the shields. A crusted lava pond a few meters below the rim of the TEB shield was seen during an over flight on 25 January. A lava flow that advanced 1 km and started another rootless shield was also spotted during the aerial observations. On 28 January, low lava fountaining was seen from the TEB vent and a couple of the shields. The original perched lava channel formed from the 21 July fissure eruption refilled and overflowed the N end. On 29 January, a channelized 'a'a lava flow from a rootless shield that collapsed on 26 January advanced about 0.6 km into the Royal Gardens subdivision. The new 29 January flows mostly moved over older lava.

Incandescence was observed in Pu'u 'O'o crater for less than 10 minutes at a time every day during the reporting period. During 22-23 January, the summit tiltmeter network recorded the first DI (deflation-inflation) tilt event that coinciding with rain. A few small earthquakes were located along the S-flank faults and SW rift zone.

Geological Summary. 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)