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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 1 November-7 November 2000


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
1 November-7 November 2000
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2000. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 November-7 November 2000. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (1 November-7 November 2000)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The HVO reported that lava continued to enter the ocean at the Kamokuna entry as it has since late September 2000. Surface lava flows were visible sporadically through the week. Overall, volcanic tremor near Pu`u `O`o vent was moderate and earthquake activity was low across the island. Tilt measured at Kilauea's summit was rather flat, as it was elsewhere along the E rift zone, continuing the long-term slow deflation underway since the eruption began in 1983.

On 5 November the bodies of two hikers who died on 3 November were found on Kilauea. According to an Associated Press article, a National Park Service Ranger stated that the hikers suffered severe burns, cuts, and abrasions. Authorities believed the hikers may have bypassed warning signs and hiked beyond the recommended area. The cause of their deaths was not known as of 7 November, but it was thought that they may have been struck by lightning or scalded by lava-heated sea water while they were on the active bench (land built out from the sea cliff). Refer to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website for more details.

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.

Sources: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), Associated Press