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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 29 May-4 June 2002


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
29 May-4 June 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 29 May-4 June 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (29 May-4 June 2002)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Three main surface lava flows were visible at Kilauea during 29 May-2 June. The front of one flow was ~1.8 km from the coast. As of 2 June fires continued to burn that were ignited by a lava flow that began on 12 May. On 29 May the front of the fire was 800 m from Chain of Craters road, which was closed on 1 June after 1,530 acres burned overnight. By 1 June at 0700, when the fire was 15 days old, a total of 2,588 acres had burned downwind of the lava flow. Generally, seismicity across the volcano was at background levels. Volcanic tremor at Kilauea's summit was low, broken occasionally by short-lived long-period earthquakes. Pu`u `O`o had weak-to-moderate tremor. There were no signs of significant deformation at the volcano.

Geological Summary. Kilauea overlaps the E flank of the massive Mauna Loa shield volcano in the island of Hawaii. Eruptions are prominent in Polynesian legends; written documentation since 1820 records frequent summit and flank lava flow eruptions interspersed with periods of long-term lava lake activity at Halemaumau crater in the summit caldera until 1924. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several stages about 1,500 years ago and during the 18th century; eruptions have also originated from the lengthy East and Southwest rift zones, which extend to the ocean in both directions. About 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is formed of lava flows less than about 1,100 years old; 70% of the surface is younger than 600 years. The long-term eruption from the East rift zone between 1983 and 2018 produced lava flows covering more than 100 km2, destroyed hundreds of houses, and added new coastline.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)