Logo link to homepage

Report on Kilauea (United States) — 25 February-3 March 2009


Kilauea

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
25 February-3 March 2009
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2009. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 25 February-3 March 2009. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (25 February-3 March 2009)

Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


HVO reported that during 25 February-3 March lava flowed SE from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex through a lava tube system, reaching the Waikupanaha ocean entry and occasionally producing explosions. A sizable collapse of the Waikupanaha bench was seen by a visitor on 28 February. Thermal anomalies noted during most days on the coastal plain suggested surface flows.

The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume that drifted mainly SW; incandescence was intermittently seen from the vent. Small amounts of ejected tephra, including Pele's hair, were routinely collected. On 26 February, geologists utilizing an infrared camera saw two spattering and episodically degassing vents about 100 m below the vent rim. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit was 1,100 tonnes per day on 27 February and 1 March; the 2003-2007 average rate was 140 tonnes per day.

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)