Report on Kilauea (United States) — 13 August-19 August 2008
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
13 August-19 August 2008
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2008. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 13 August-19 August 2008. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
HVO reported that during 13-19 August, lava flowed SE through a lava tube system from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex to the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Incandescence was noted from the rootless shield complex during 13-15 August. Earthquakes were in various locations along the Koa'e fault system, S and W of the caldera, beneath the summit, along the S-flank faults, and along the E and SW rift zones. Beneath Halema'uma'u crater, around 40 small earthquakes per day (background is 20-40) also occurred but were too small to be located more precisely. The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume with minor ash content that drifted mainly SW. The plume was occasionally tinged brown. Night-time incandescence was intermintently seen at the base of the plume, and rock impacts and rushing sounds were heard in the vicinity of the crater.
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.