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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 10 January-16 January 2001


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
10 January-16 January 2001
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 January-16 January 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (10 January-16 January 2001)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

According to HVO, surface flows on Pulama pali diminished after 9 January. Activity continued on the morning of 10 January from both the W and E tongues. Each was incandescent near the top, and on the lower fourth, of the pali. The much larger W tongue was burning trees along its upper E edge. By the early morning of 11 January, the only incandescence was in the W tongue. Fires continued along the E side of the upper W tongue. The crater of Pu`u `O`o was dimly glowing both mornings. By the morning of 16 January, one flow extended more than halfway down the pali, with patchy incandescence near the base. Glow above the pali and E of the flow on the pali moved eastward overnight; this glow has been there for about a week and indicates uncrusted surface lava or a fire. Lava continued to pond, thicken, and gradually spread seaward on the coastal flat below the pali. Only the faintest of glows came from the July 2000 pit on 16 January. Volcanic tremor at Pu`u `O`o and in Kilauea's caldera continued through this period at a low to moderate level, but bursts of strong tremor lasted about 30 minutes on the morning of the 11th and less than an hour on the 15th.

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)