Report on Kilauea (United States) — 20 January-26 January 2010
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
20 January-26 January 2010
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 January-26 January 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 20-26 January, HVO reported an active lava surface about 200 m below a vent in the floor of Kilauea's Halema'uma'u crater. The lava surface occasionally spattered, and both rose and drained through a hole in the cavity floor. A plume from the vent drifted multiple directions, dropping small amounts of ash, and occasionally fresh spatter, downwind. Lava from beneath the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex flowed SE through a lava tube system. Thermal anomalies detected by satellite and visual observations revealed active lava flows on top of the pali from lava-tube breakouts.
During an overflight of Pu'u 'O'o crater on 19 January scientists saw a recent but inactive lava flow across the bottom of the crater. On 22 January a small part of the crater rim collapsed in front of the web camera, revealing an incandescent vent at the base of the E wall. During 23-26 January, incandescence was seen from the vent, as well as from high on the E wall, the crater floor, and low on the S wall.
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.