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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 13 April-19 April 2011


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 13 April-19 April 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 13 April-19 April 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (13 April-19 April 2011)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 13-19 April, HVO reported that activity at Kilauea continued from the summit caldera and the east rift zone. The level of the circulating lava-pool surface in a deep pit was approximately 100 m below the Halema'uma'u crater floor, and periodically rose and drained. A gas plume from the vent drifted NE and SW, and deposited very small amounts of ash nearby. On 16 April two collapses of interior vent walls covered most of the molten surface with rock debris and generated brown plumes. At Pu'u 'O'o crater, central sources continuously erupted lava within a perched lake that was approximately half the diameter of the crater floor. The lava level fluctuated within the lake walls and episodically overflowed the rim.

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)