Report on Kilauea (United States) — 31 March-6 April 2010
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 March-6 April 2010
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 March-6 April 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 31 March-6 April, HVO reported incandescence from a 60-m-wide active lava surface about 200 m below a vent in the floor of Kilauea's Halema'uma'u crater. The lava surface circulated and both rose and drained through a pit in the cavity floor; a few times the level fluctuated between 235 and 260 m below the surface. Plumes from the vent drifted mainly SW, dropping small amounts of ash downwind. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit on 31 March was 1,400 tonnes per day, the highest recorded in 2010. The rate on 1 and 2 April was 1,000 and 650 tonnes per day, respectively.
Lava from beneath the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex flowed SE through the upper portion of a lava tube system and broke out onto the surface. Lava flows advanced E, and then SE down Pulama pali.
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.