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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 24 November-30 November 2010


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 November-30 November 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, 24 November-30 November 2010. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (24 November-30 November 2010)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 24-30 November, 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 approximately 140 and 145 m below the crater floor, periodically rising about 20 m above that level. Nighttime incandescence has been visible from the Jaggar Museum on the NW caldera rim since early 2010. A plume from the vent mostly drifted SW and deposited ash nearby.

At the east rift zone, lava continued to flow through the TEB lava-tube system and fed surface flows on the coastal plain, breakout flows W and N of a county viewing area (located along Highway 130), and one or more ocean entries on the Puhi-o-Kalaikini delta W of Kalapana Gardens subdivision. A lava flow that broke out of the tube on 24 November advanced towards an abandoned house in Kalapana Gardens, and on 27 November, set fire to and destroyed the structure. Incandescence was visible from vents on the N part of the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor on 23 November before it started to spatter and feed a small lava flow. The lava flow continued to advance E during 24 November-1 December.

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)