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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 20 September-26 September 2006

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 September-26 September 2006
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2006. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 September-26 September 2006. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (20 September-26 September 2006)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Throughout 20-26 September Kilauea continued to erupt from the Pu`u `O`o vent on the East Rift Zone. Summit inflation centered in the south part of the caldera also continued. Lava was flowing through the PKK lava tube from its source on the SW flank of Pu`u `O`o to the ocean. About 1 km S of Pu`u `O`o, the Campout flow branches off from the PKK tube. The PKK and Campout systems feed two widely separated ocean entries named East Lae`apuki and East Ka`ili`ili, respectively. Activity during this period included numerous small breakouts from the Campout flow, new skylights along the PKK tube, and variable activity at the ocean entries. At Pu`u `O`o, intermittent lava incandescence reflected on gas plumes was visible from the usual four vents (East Pond, January, South Wall Complex, and Drainhole).

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)