Report on Kilauea (United States) — 4 November-10 November 2009
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
4 November-10 November 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, 4 November-10 November 2009. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 4-10 November, HVO reported that 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 a second location, 700 m farther to the W. Thermal anomalies detected in satellite images and visual observations revealed active surface lava flows. Breakout lava flows were located inland of the Waikpuanaha entry and also W of the County Public Viewing trail. The last remaining structure on the flow field burned on 3 November. Incandescence was seen from the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor and an East wall vent during 6-7 November.
The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a diffuse white plume that drifted SW and likely produced some ashfall. Incandescence originated from a spattering lava pond inside the vent cavity. Preliminary measurements indicated that the sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit remained elevated; 700 and 400 tonnes per day were measured on 6 and 9 November, respectively. 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.