Report on Kilauea (United States) — 20 February-26 February 2008
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 February-26 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, 20 February-26 February 2008. 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 observations during overflights, and web camera views when weather permitted, HVO reported that during 20-26 February activity from Kilauea's fissure segment D was concentrated at the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) shield and satellitic shields to the E and SE. A lava flow from the shields traveled E towards Kalalua. A pahoehoe lava flow from the SE rootless shield was observed 250 m S of the northern boundary of the Royal Gardens subdivision during an overflight on 20 February. During 25-26 February, lava flows advanced through the subdivision. Diffuse incandescence was observed in Pu'u 'O'o crater through the fume during 20-22 February. Earthquakes were located E of and beneath Halema'uma'u crater, along the S-flank faults, beneath the summit, N of the summit, and along the SW rift zones.
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.