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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 3 November-9 November 2004

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 November-9 November 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, 3 November-9 November 2004. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (3 November-9 November 2004)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Lava from Kilauea's PKK flow entered the sea during the evening of 4 November. This was the first time lava had entered the sea since the Banana lava delta ceased operation in early August 2004. On the morning of 5 November, the entry was small, but vigorous. The width of the feeding lava flow was ~30 m and the new delta just starting to form seaward of the Lae`apuki delta was at most 70 m long and 8 m wide perpendicular to the shoreline. By 8 November the new lava delta was ~100 m wide along the shore and reached as far as 15 m seaward from the front of the old Lae`apuki delta. During 4-8 November, all vents in the crater of Pu`u `O`o were incandescent. Seismicity was weak at Kilauea's summit, with essentially no tremor recorded. Tremor was at moderate levels at Pu`u `O`o. No significant deformation occurred.

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)