Report on Kilauea (United States) — 31 August-6 September 2016
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 August-6 September 2016
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 31 August-6 September 2016. 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 August-6 September HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise and fall, circulate, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook vent. Incandescence was evident in webcam images from several long-established vents on Pu'u 'O'o Crater's floor. A collapse at the W vent increased the size of the vent and a 40-m-diameter lava pond that was 23 m below the vent's rim. The 61G lava flow, originating from a vent on Pu'u 'O'o Crater's E flank, continued to enter the ocean at multiple areas near Kamokuna and spanning about 1 km of coastline and increasing the size of the lava delta at the base of the sea cliff. Scattered breakouts were active on the coastal plain and the 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.