Report on Kilauea (United States) — 21 September-27 September 2016
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 September-27 September 2016
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 21 September-27 September 2016. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 21-27 September HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise and fall, circulate, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook vent. The lake level rose as high as 10 m below the Halema?uma?u floor, and was sometimes visible from the Jaggar Museum (NW rim of Kilauea Caldera); lava fountains along the edge of the lake were visible from the museum on 26 September. Webcams recorded incandescence from long-active sources within Pu'u 'O'o Crater. The 61G lava flow, originating from a vent on Pu'u 'O'o Crater's E flank, continued to enter the ocean at multiple areas near Kamokuna. Scattered breakouts were active 2 km inland from the coast.
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.