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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 5 June-11 June 2002


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
5 June-11 June 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, 5 June-11 June 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (5 June-11 June 2002)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Surface lava flows were visible above, traveling down, and below the Pulama pali scarp. One flow was 1.7 km from the end of the Chain of Craters Road and 1.5 km from the nearest point along the coastline. Swarms of long-period earthquakes occurred in Kilauea's caldera during 5-10 June and moderate tremor occurred at Pu`u `O`o. Slow, uneven deflation started at Pu`u `O`o on 2 June, then inflation began during the evening of 5 June. The fires ignited by a lava flow that began on 12 May had been 65% contained by 10 June and Chain of Craters road was open to the public during the evening.

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), US Hawaii Volcanoes National Park