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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 4 May-10 May 2005


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
4 May-10 May 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, 4 May-10 May 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (4 May-10 May 2005)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

A third ocean entry, in the East Lae`apuki area, became active on 5 May. That entry and the Far East Lae`apuki entry were both being fed by lava falls down the old sea cliff and were relatively small. Based of the brighter glow, the Kamoamoa entry was thought to be more substantial. By the morning of 9 May lava was treaming over the old sea cliff in four locations; two falls fed ocean entries and two were falling onto an old delta. The branch of the PKK flow feeding East Lae`apuki was full of breakouts on 9 May. The next day the middle branch of the PKK flow developed an open-channel stream on the Pulama pali 10-20 m wide, 500-600 m long, and moving rapidly. Volcanic tremor remained at moderate levels at Pu`u `O`o. Episodes of inflation and deflation occurred during the week.

Geological Summary. 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)