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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 17 June-23 June 2009


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 June-23 June 2009
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2009. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 June-23 June 2009. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (17 June-23 June 2009)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Daily reports from HVO about Kilauea during 17-23 June indicated continuing visible glow from the Halema'uma'u vent. Molten lava remained in the neck of a funnel-shaped cavity in the floor of Halema'uma'u Crater. Webcam views showed the lava level rising several meters for brief periods before returning to depths of about 290 m below the crater rim and 205 m below the crater floor, as determined by laser-ranging measurements. Throughout the week lava from east rift zone vents flowed through tubes to the coast and entered the ocean at two locations west of Kalapana; active surface flows also continued on the pali within the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Sulfur dioxide emission rates from the Halema`uma`u and Pu`u `O`o vents remained elevated. The plume continued to carry glassy bits of spatter and small amounts of ash. A deflation-inflation event began on 22 June and was continuing the next 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)