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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 16 March-22 March 2011


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 March-22 March 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 March-22 March 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (16 March-22 March 2011)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

HVO reported that at Kilauea's summit caldera a gas plume from the deep pit within Halema'uma'u crater drifted mainly SW during 16-22 March and deposited ash and fresh spatter nearby. The lava lake within the pit was mostly crusted over during 16-19 March but occasionally produced incandescence. The lake was visible during 20-22 March and periodically changed depth. At the east rift zone, small incandescent areas were visible in Pu'u 'O'o crater. The Kamoamoa fissure remained inactive. During 16-18 March the sulfur dioxide emission rate from all east rift zone sources was below the detection threshold of 20-30 tonnes per day.

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)