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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 11 March-17 March 2015


Kilauea

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
11 March-17 March 2015
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 March-17 March 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (11 March-17 March 2015)

Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During 11-17 March HVO reported that Kilauea’s 27 June NE-trending lava flow continued to be active with several small and scattered breakouts within the flow-field margins, upslope of the leading front. Most of the erupting lava was found in the two largest breakouts: the 21 February breakout on the flank of Pu'u 'O'o and the 9 March breakout near the forested cone of Kahauale'a. A third and relatively small breakout was 5 km farther NE of Pu'u 'O'o. At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from several outgassing openings in the crater floor. A small lava pond was visible in the S portion of the crater. The circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u Crater. Gas emissions remained elevated. During 12-13 March a tiny lava flow erupted from the NE edge of the crater.

Geological Summary. Kilauea overlaps the E flank of the massive Mauna Loa shield volcano in the island of Hawaii. Eruptions are prominent in Polynesian legends; written documentation since 1820 records frequent summit and flank lava flow eruptions interspersed with periods of long-term lava lake activity at Halemaumau crater in the summit caldera until 1924. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several stages about 1,500 years ago and during the 18th century; eruptions have also originated from the lengthy East and Southwest rift zones, which extend to the ocean in both directions. About 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is formed of lava flows less than about 1,100 years old; 70% of the surface is younger than 600 years. The long-term eruption from the East rift zone between 1983 and 2018 produced lava flows covering more than 100 km2, destroyed hundreds of houses, and added new coastline.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)