Report on Kilauea (United States) — 6 November-12 November 2002
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 November-12 November 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, 6 November-12 November 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 6-11 November at Kilauea, lava continued to flow into the sea at moderate rates from two lava deltas, as it has for several weeks. Spots of incandescence were visible on Paliuli, on the gentle slope below Pulama pali, and above Pulama pali. Surface lava flows were visible on the coastal flat at times. Generally, seismicity was at normal levels. The swarm of long-period earthquakes and tremor beneath Kilauea's caldera, occasionally active since June, was rather weak. Short bursts of tremor were interspersed with small earthquakes. Small deflation may have occurred at the Uwekahuna and Pu`u `O`o tiltmeters on the 10th, otherwise no significant deformation was recorded.
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.