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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 9 January-15 January 2002

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 January-15 January 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, 9 January-15 January 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (9 January-15 January 2002)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Lava entered the ocean at multiple locations along the Kamoamoa ocean entry, while the amount of lava entering the ocean at the E Kupapa`u entry was very small. A broad, 1.5- to 2-km-long surface flow was visible on the upper portion of the flow field above the Pulama pali scarp and surface flows that emanated from the Kamoamoa lava tube system were seen on the coastal flat. Generally, volcanic tremor was moderate-to-strong at Pu`u `O`o for several days and the ongoing swarm of small long-period earthquakes continued at Kilauea's summit. Following minor deflation on 11 January, tiltmeters across the volcano showed no significant deformation.

Geologic Background. 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.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)