Report on Kilauea (United States) — 5 May-11 May 2010
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
5 May-11 May 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, 5 May-11 May 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 5-11 May HVO reported that activity at Kilauea continued at the summit and the east rift zone. At the summit, episodic rising and falling of the lava-pool surface continued at the deep pit inset within the floor of Halema'uma'u crater; glow from the vent was visible. The plume of gas and ash from the summit vent drifted SW and W, dropping small amounts of ash, and occasionally Pele's hair and Pele's tears, downwind. The sulfur dioxide emission rate measured at the summit on 5 May was 880 tonnes/day.
At the east rift zone, lava flows that broke out of the TEB lava-tube system had advanced down the Pulama pali onto the coastal plain and headed S into the ocean. Lava also flowed along the highway, after covering the county viewing area on 5 May. Incandescence was sometimes seen from a vent low on the S wall of Pu'u 'O'o crater. On 9 May lava flows near the county viewing area stalled.
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.