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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 27 October-2 November 2010


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
27 October-2 November 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, 27 October-2 November 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (27 October-2 November 2010)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 27 October-2 November, HVO reported that activity at Kilauea continued from the summit caldera and the east rift zone. At the summit caldera, the level of the lava-pool surface in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u crater remained mostly stable between 160 and 170 m below the crater floor. Periodically the lava rose a few meters above that level, producing nighttime incandescence seen from the Jaggar Museum, on the NW caldera rim. A plume from the vent drifted SW and deposited ash nearby.

At the east rift zone, lava continued to flow through the TEB lava-tube system and fed two ocean entries at the Puhi-o-Kalaikini delta. On 27 October a small lava flow broke out of the lava tube and was active W of the end of Highway 130. A channelized 'a'a lava flow at the base of the pali began the next day. Lava flows were active on the coastal plain during 29-30 October and 1-2 November. Incandescence was frequently visible from vents on the N part of the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor.

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)