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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 12 November-18 November 2014


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
12 November-18 November 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 November-18 November 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (12 November-18 November 2014)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 12-18 November HVO reported that Kilauea’s 27 June NE-trending lava flow continued to be active. On 15 November the closest active lava to Pahoa Village Road was about 630 m upslope of the road. Multiple breakouts were active upslope of Apa’a Street and Cemetery Road, including a breakout traveling along the S margin of the earlier flow that crossed Cemetery Road and burned the road surface. During an overflight on 17 November, scientists noted a marked decrease in the surface breakouts that have been active N of Kaohe Homesteads, and near Apa’a Street and the Pahoa Japanese Cemetery during the previous few weeks. This decrease in supply was caused by a large breakout from the lava tube at Pu’u Kahauale’a, near Pu'u 'O'o, which began overnight during 14-15 November. A report on 18 November noted that the lower portion of the lava flow, near the Kaohe Homesteads and Pahoa, had stalled, but breakouts remained active in the upslope portion of the flow between 1.6 km and 9 km NE of Pu'u 'O'o.

The circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u Crater. Gas emissions remained elevated. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of tephra onto nearby areas; smaller particles may have been dropped several kilometers away. At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from several outgassing openings in the 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)