Logo link to homepage

Report on Kilauea (United States) — 12 November-18 November 2003


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
12 November-18 November 2003
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 November-18 November 2003. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (12 November-18 November 2003)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 12-17 November, areas of surface lava were visible upslope of Kilauea's coastal flat. Seismicity at Kilauea's summit continued at moderate levels, with one or two small low-frequency earthquakes per minute occurring at shallow depths beneath the summit caldera. There were some larger earthquakes at depths of a few kilometers. Also, during the report week small amounts of inflation and deflation occurred, including inflation on 17 November that started when the surface waves from a M 7.5 earthquake at Rat Island in the Aleutians reached Kilauea. The inflation was small, about 0.5 microradians at Pu`u `O`o tilt station and 0.3 microradians at Uwekahuna station.

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)