Report on Kilauea (United States) — 26 January-1 February 2011
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
26 January-1 February 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, 26 January-1 February 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 26 January-1 February, activity continued from the summit caldera and 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 125 m below the crater floor, periodically rising or falling. Nighttime incandescence was visible from the Jaggar Museum on the NW caldera rim. A plume from the vent that drifted mostly SW deposited ash and fresh spatter nearby.
At the east rift zone, lava that broke out of the Quarry tube in a saddle between two rootless shields around 610 m elevation, continued to advance both E and W, producing scattered break-out flows. At the lowest elevation of the E branch, lava advanced along Highway 130 near Kalapana, periodically burning vegetation, and to the S towards the coast. Multiple small ocean entries were active on the W part of the Puhi-o-Kalaikini lava delta. Incandescence emanated from a spatter cone on the N portion of the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor and from the fuming vent in the E wall of the crater.
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.