Report on Kilauea (United States) — 31 December-6 January 2003
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
31 December-6 January 2003
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, 31 December-6 January 2003. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 31 December to 5 January, lava continued to enter the sea at several entry points along three deltas, though by the end of the report week only two were active. Surface lava flows were visible on the coastal flat and upslope on Pulama pali. Generally, seismicity continued at background levels at Kilauea. The long-lasting swarm of long-period earthquakes and tremor at Kilauea's summit, which began last June, continued at low levels. No significant deformation was recorded.
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.