Report on Kilauea (United States) — 15 September-21 September 2010
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 September-21 September 2010
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2010. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 September-21 September 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 15-21 September HVO reported that activity at Kilauea continued from the summit caldera and the east rift zone. At the summit caldera, the level of the lava-pool surface in the deep pit within the Halema'uma'u crater remained mostly stable at about 160 m below the crater floor; periodically the lava rose 20-40 m above the stable surface level. Glow from the vent was also visible at night. A plume from the vent drifted SW and deposited ash nearby. At Pu'u 'O'o crater, incandescence emanated from a lava flow on the SW floor during 16-19 September. At the east rift zone, lava that flowed through the TEB lava-tube system mainly fed the Puhi-o-Kalaikini ocean entry. Weak thermal anomalies detected in satellite imagery during 17-19 September suggested little to no lava flow activity on the pali or the coastal plain.
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.