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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 8 August-14 August 2018

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 August-14 August 2018
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2018. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 August-14 August 2018. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (8 August-14 August 2018)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

HVO reported that during 8-14 August activity at Kilauea was characterized by a slowly-circulating lava pond deep within the Fissure 8 vent (though the pond was crusted over by 14 August) and a billowing gas plume, and a few scattered ocean entries. The summit area was quiet except for occasional rockfalls into the crater. Fresh black sand from fragmented lava was transported SW by the ocean current, and accumulated in the Pohoiki harbor, creating a sandbar. The westernmost ocean entry was about 1 km NE of the harbor. Earthquake and deformation data indicated no magma movement or pressurization in the system.

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.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)