Report on Kilauea (United States) — 10 December-16 December 2003
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
10 December-16 December 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, 10 December-16 December 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 10-16 December, eruptive activity continued at Kilauea's Pu`u `O`o vent. Various vents within Pu`u `O`o were occasionally active and new lava flows covered parts of the crater floor. No surface lava flows were visible on the coastal flat or Pulama pali. During 15-16 December, only steady weak tremor was recorded at Kilauea's summit, tremor at Pu`u `O`o was at moderate levels, and slight deformation occurred.
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)