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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 20 September-26 September 2017


Kilauea

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
20 September-26 September 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 September-26 September 2017. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (20 September-26 September 2017)

Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During 20-26 September HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise, fall, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook crater. Webcams recorded incandescence from long-active sources within Pu'u 'O'o Crater and from a small lava pond in a pit on the W side of the crater. The 61G lava flow, originating from a vent on Pu'u 'O'o Crater's E flank, continued to enter the ocean at Kamokuna. Surface lava flows were active above and on the pali, and on the coastal plain. During 23-24 September a short-lived breakout above the ocean entry disrupted the ramp and produced a brief "firehose" of lava.

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)