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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 9 July-15 July 2008


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 July-15 July 2008
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2008. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 July-15 July 2008. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (9 July-15 July 2008)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During most of 9-15 July 2008 the Kilauea summit and Pu`u `O`o cone continued to deflate. Small amounts of ash and elevated amounts of sulfur dioxide gas continued to issue from the Halema`uma`u vent.

At the east rift eruption site, an unusually high amount of sulfur dioxide gas issued from Pu`u `O`o crater on 9 July. More lava than usual continued to erupt from the TEB vent area during 9-12 July and flowed into the tube system, feeding multiple short surface flows. Lava also resumed flowing into the ocean at Waikupanaha. Surface flows within the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision were seen on the morning of 13 July; they may have reached the coastal plain the next day. Strong incandescence was seen from within Pu`u `O`o crater from the 10th through the 15th.

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)