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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 23 March-29 March 2011


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 March-29 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, 23 March-29 March 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (23 March-29 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 east rift zone small areas of incandescence in Pu'u 'O'o crater were visible through the web camera during 23-24 March. The lava lake in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u crater was crusted over; frequent rockfalls produced a few brown-tinged plumes. On 25 March the lava lake reappeared as lava streamed across and eventually covered the floor of the pit. The next day lava returned to Pu'u 'O'o crater about 20 days after the crater floor collapsed on 5 March. Lava slowly filled the deepest parts of the crater forming a lava lake. The lava lake within Halema'uma'u crater again crusted over. During 27-29 March the lava lake in Pu'u 'O'o crater circulated and was fed from two closely-spaced sources in the W center of the lake.

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)