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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 16 February-22 February 2005

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 February-22 February 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 February-22 February 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (16 February-22 February 2005)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

On 21 February a new ocean entry, named East Lae`apuki, started at Kilauea. The entry was located between the other two ocean entries (Ka`ili`ili and West Highcastle) that had been active since 31 January 2005. This was the first time there had been three ocean entries active since early 2003. During 17-22 February, surface lava flows were visible on the volcano. A few small earthquakes occurred at Kilauea's summit, and no tremor was recorded. Tremor was at moderate levels at Pu`u `O`o. Small amounts of deformation occurred during the report 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)