Report on Kilauea (United States) — 19 December-25 December 2007
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 December-25 December 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, 19 December-25 December 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Based on overflights and web camera views, HVO reported that fissure segment D from Kilauea's 21 July fissure eruption continued to feed perched lava ponds within a lava flow that frequently overflowed their channel edges during 19-25 December. Lava flowed from the base and top of the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) shield and crust overturned in multiple lava ponds. An overflight on 20 December revealed that lava from fissure D built up two more shields SE of the TEB shield. A few small earthquakes were located beneath the summit and Halema'uma'u crater, and along S-flank fault.
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.