Report on Kilauea (United States) — 5 September-11 September 2018
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 September-11 September 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, 5 September-11 September 2018. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
HVO reported that during 5-11 September weak lava activity at Kilauea’s Fissure 8 was characterized by occasional incandescence; during 9-10 September a small collapse pit formed and exposed hot material underneath. Seismicity and ground deformation remain low at the summit, and aftershocks from the M 6.9 earthquake in early May were located along faults on the south flank. The combined rate of sulfur dioxide emission from the summit and the LERZ (<1,000 tonnes/day) were lower than any time since late 2007. A series of small collapses at Pu'u 'O'o Crater during 8-10 September generated visible brown plumes. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
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.