Report on Kilauea (United States) — 23 February-1 March 2011
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
23 February-1 March 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, 23 February-1 March 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 23 February-2 March, activity continued from the summit caldera and east rift zone. At the summit caldera, the level of the circulating lava-pool surface in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u crater fluctuated between 80 and 120 m below the crater floor. Nighttime incandescence was visible from the Jaggar Museum on the NW caldera rim. A plume from the vent drifted in multiple directions and deposited ash and fresh spatter nearby. At the east rift zone, two branches of the 29 November lava flow (from a lava tube breach at 366 m elevation) produced scattered surface flows on the pali and coastal plain. In Pu'u 'O'o crater, lava periodically effused or spattered from a cone on the NE portion of the crater floor and from a vent in the E crater wall.
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.