Logo link to homepage

Report on Kilauea (United States) — 3 November-9 November 2021


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
3 November-9 November 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 November-9 November 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (3 November-9 November 2021)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

HVO reported that the summit eruption at Kilauea continued during 2-9 November at a vent in the lower W wall of Halema`uma`u Crater. Lava entered the lake through a short channel in the E part of the W wall cone, feeding the lake which had risen 56 m since 29 September; the channel was covered with a cooled crust by 3 November. Lava began to flow over the E edge of the lava lake, which is perched above the crater floor, by 4 November. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 1,700-2,900 tonnes per day during 3-5 November and 250 tonnes per day during 7-8 November. Low roiling and bursts of spatter from the small perched pond in the W vent cone were observed; activity at the vent had decreased by 8 November, along with the area of active lava at the surface of the main lava lake, then returned to higher levels by 9 November. The Aviation Color Code and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Orange and Watch, respectively.

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)