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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 23 March-29 March 2005

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 March-29 March 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, 23 March-29 March 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (23 March-29 March 2005)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

On 29 March lava from Kilauea entered the ocean at five ocean entries. The largest, named Kamoamos, consisted of six or more places where lava entered the water along the front of a growing lava delta. A cascade of lava streamed down the old sea cliff at one of the two Highcastle entries. Bright glow came from Ka`ili`ili entry, and weak glow from East Highcastle entry. Seismicity remained above background levels at Kilauea's summit, consisting mainly of tremor and some long-period earthquakes. Volcanic tremor was at moderate levels at Pu`u `O`o. Surface waves from a M 8.7 earthquake on 28 March off Sumatra, Indonesia disturbed tilt measurements at Kilauea, otherwise the tilt change was small.

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)