Logo link to homepage

Report on Kilauea (United States) — 12 January-18 January 2022


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
12 January-18 January 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 January-18 January 2022. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (12 January-18 January 2022)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

HVO reported that lava effusion resumed at the vent in the lower W wall of Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater at around 1840 on 11 January. The level of the lava lake had increased 13 m by about 0300 on 12 January, slightly surpassing the level prior to the pause that began on 10 January; the lake has risen a total of 70 m since the beginning of the eruption. During 12-14 January the lake was active and lava oozed out along the crusted-over E margins. A surge in lava effusion at the vent was recorded at 0545 on 15 January, coincident with a peak in summit inflation. Effusion had paused by the afternoon, though minor activity at the vent on the N side of the spatter cone, minor overturns of the lake, and small oozes of lava at the lake’s margins persisted. The lake level dropped 10 m by the morning of 16 January. Small overturns of the crusted lake were visible during 16-17 January. By 18 January the lake was completely crusted over and a small wispy plume rose from the vent. 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)