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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 23 January-29 January 2008


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 January-29 January 2008
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2008. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 January-29 January 2008. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (23 January-29 January 2008)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Based on observations during overflights, and web camera views when weather permitted, HVO reported that during 23-29 January activity from Kilauea's fissure segment D was concentrated at the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) shield and satellitic shields to the SE. Lava flows issued from the tops and flanks of the shields. A crusted lava pond a few meters below the rim of the TEB shield was seen during an over flight on 25 January. A lava flow that advanced 1 km and started another rootless shield was also spotted during the aerial observations. On 28 January, low lava fountaining was seen from the TEB vent and a couple of the shields. The original perched lava channel formed from the 21 July fissure eruption refilled and overflowed the N end. On 29 January, a channelized 'a'a lava flow from a rootless shield that collapsed on 26 January advanced about 0.6 km into the Royal Gardens subdivision. The new 29 January flows mostly moved over older lava.

Incandescence was observed in Pu'u 'O'o crater for less than 10 minutes at a time every day during the reporting period. During 22-23 January, the summit tiltmeter network recorded the first DI (deflation-inflation) tilt event that coinciding with rain. A few small earthquakes were located along the S-flank faults and SW rift zone.

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)