Logo link to homepage

Report on Kilauea (United States) — 11 July-17 July 2007


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
11 July-17 July 2007
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 July-17 July 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (11 July-17 July 2007)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The W vent and dominant E vent in Kilauea's Pu'u 'O'o crater fed a growing lava lake during 11-13 July. Levees built up from overflows during 11-12 July. On the S wall of West Gap pit, intermittent incandescence and fuming from new vents that opened were observed during 13-14 July. On 14 July, the level of the lava lake dropped but remained active near the E vent. On 15 July, the E and W vents erupted small lava flows that drained onto the solidifying lava lake bed. Low lava fountains were observed from West Gap pit. During 15-17 July, lava filled the pit and overflowed into the main crater.

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)