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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 8 May-14 May 2002


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
8 May-14 May 2002
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2002. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 May-14 May 2002. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (8 May-14 May 2002)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

An extremely large deflation episode began at Kilauea's Pu`u `O`o cone on 12 May at about 0720. By 1500 Pu`u `O`o had deflated about 16.5 microradians. Following the onset of deflation at Pu`u `O`o, there was slight deflation at Kilauea's caldera. No new eruptive activity was visible in Pu`u `O`o 's crater. Within a couple of hundred meters of the SW base of Pu`u `O`o, two large ~3-m-wide lava flows were visible that apparently broke out of the upper lava-tube system. By 13 May Pu`u `O`o had deflated 18 microradians, tremor at Pu`u `O`o was higher than preceding the deflation and was accompanied by small earthquakes, background tremor and long-period earthquakes increased at the summit, and no significant deformation was recorded at the volcano.

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)