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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 16 May-22 May 2007


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
16 May-22 May 2007
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 May-22 May 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (16 May-22 May 2007)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 16-22 May, lava from Kilauea continued to flow SE across a lava delta into the ocean at the Kamokuna entry. On 16 May, lava from the E arm of the Campout flow advancing along the coastal plain from the base of the Royal Gardens sub-division, reached the ocean at the newly-formed Poupou entry. On 18 May, field crews reported that the Poupou entry, about 1.6 km E of the Kamokuna entry, was 20 m wide and building a delta. Incandescence was visible from several vents in the Pu'u 'O'o crater and from breakouts on, above, and at the base of the Pulama pali fault scarp. Earthquake activity that initially increased on 12 May was scattered beneath the upper rift zone and S-flank areas.

According to a news article, new measurements revealed that the area of the 10 May bench collapse at East Lae'apuki lava delta was about 9.3 hectares (23 acres). Scientists reported that new cracks in the lava delta were observed within several hundred yards of the ocean's edge.

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.

Sources: Honolulu Advertiser, US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)