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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 2 January-8 January 2008

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 January-8 January 2008
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2008. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 January-8 January 2008. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (2 January-8 January 2008)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Based on overflights and web camera views when weather permitted, HVO reported that during 2-8 January activity from fissure segment D from Kilauea's 21 July fissure eruption was concentrated at the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) shield and two satellitic shields to the SE. Lava flows traveled S and stalled within 2.2 km SE of fissure D. From 21 July 2007 to 4 January 2008, the Pu'u 'O'o cone contracted about 0.45 m, based on interpretation of GPS data. Incandescent flashes at the top of the TEB shield were visible during 4-6 January and one short lava flow to the N was detected on 6 January. On 7 January, a lava pond was seen in a vent on top of the TEB shield during an overflight. During 7-8 January, brief flashes and one lava overflow at the top of the shield was seen on the web camera. Tremor remained low below Pu'u 'O'o crater. A few small earthquakes were located beneath the summit and along the 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.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)