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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 24 March-30 March 2004

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 March-30 March 2004
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2004. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 March-30 March 2004. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (24 March-30 March 2004)


Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During 24-30 March, two surface lava flows were active at the southern part of Kilauea's rootless-shield complex: the MLK flow and the Kuhio flow. The summit-deflation event that began on 20 March ended on 23 March, with only minor inflation and deflation events recorded after 23 March. A weak swarm of low-frequency earthquakes and a 2-hour period of moderate-to-strong volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded during 24-25 March. Overall, seismicity was at low levels during the reporting period.

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)