Report on Kilauea (United States) — 13 December-19 December 2006
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
13 December-19 December 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, 13 December-19 December 2006. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 13-19 December, lava from Kilauea continued to flow off of a lava delta into the ocean at the East Lae'apuki and East Ka'ili'ili entries. Incandescence on the pali was visible during the reporting period. Rare surface activity on the flow field was observed on 13 December. Incandescence was intermittently visible from the East Pond and January vents, South Wall complex, and Drainhole vent in Pu'u 'O'o's crater. Tremor near Pu`u `O`o continued at moderate levels.
According to a news article, a three-year-long inflationary trend of Kilauea's summit and E and SW rift zones ceased in early October. Since the current on-going eruption began in 1983, a total of three such events have occurred.
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.