Logo link to homepage

Report on Kilauea (United States) — 30 January-5 February 2008


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
30 January-5 February 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, 30 January-5 February 2008. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (30 January-5 February 2008)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Based on observations during overflights, and web camera views when weather permitted, HVO reported that during 30 January-5 February activity from Kilauea's fissure segment D was concentrated at the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) shield and satellitic shields to the SE. Lava flows issued from the tops and flanks of the shields. Lava in the original perched lava channel, formed from the 21 July fissure eruption, overflowed the N end. On 30 January, the channelized 'a'a lava flow from a rootless shield that collapsed on 26 January advanced, burning small kipukas and another small area of the Royal Gardens subdivision. The lava flow was inactive the next day. During 30-31 February, the rootless shields at the SE end of the field (within 2 km of fissure D) issued abundant lava flows overnight. The lava pond within the Shield-4 collapse overflowed several times; lava flows advanced S.

Incandescence was observed in Pu'u 'O'o crater for less than 10 minutes at a time every day during the reporting period. A few small earthquakes were located beneath Halema'uma'u crater and along the S-flank faults, SW rift zone, and upper E rift zone.

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)