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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 6 October-12 October 2010


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 October-12 October 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, 6 October-12 October 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (6 October-12 October 2010)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 6-12 October, 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 Halema'uma'u crater remained mostly stable between 150 and 160 m below the crater floor; periodically the lava rose 10-30 m above that level. Glow from the vent was also visible at night. A plume from the vent drifted mainly SW.

At the east rift zone, lava that flowed through the TEB lava-tube system mainly fed the Puhi-o-Kalaikini ocean entry. Break-outs of lava from a tube near the end of Highway 130 and NW of Kalapana on 4 October and other small break-outs during 6-12 October were noted. On 7 October another ocean entry point developed on the Puhi-o-Kalaikini delta, just W of the first entry.

Lava from a vent on the NW edge of Pu'u 'O'o crater flowed E across the crater floor during most of the reporting period. On 6 October a vent on the N floor of the crater opened and effused lava that buried the E portion of the crater with lava about 10 m thick. On 8 October, lava drained back into the vent on the N floor. Lava-flow activity on the crater floor was intermittent during 8-10 October. The next day the flows had 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.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)