Report on Kilauea (United States) — 5 January-11 January 2011
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
5 January-11 January 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 5 January-11 January 2011. 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 January, 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 circulated and remained mostly stable at approximately 120 m below the crater floor, periodically rising several meters higher. Nighttime incandescence was visible from the Jaggar Museum on the NW caldera rim. A plume from the vent that drifted SW, NE, and N deposited ash and fresh spatter nearby.
At the east rift zone, lava that broke out of the Quarry tube at a saddle between two rootless shields around 610 m elevation, continued to advance in two branches, E and W. At the lowest elevation of the E branch lava advanced along Highway 130 near Kalapana. One part of the W branch entered the ocean on 6 January at a location about 2 km SW of the end of Highway 130. Lava flows fed by an 8-m-high cone on the N portion of the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor covered and recovered the E crater floor. The web camera also recorded incandescence from a small fume-producing vent in the E wall of the crater. On 10 January the sides of the cone seemingly gave way and lava poured into two active flows that traveled toward the W portion of the crater floor.
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.