Report on Kilauea (United States) — 24 August-30 August 2011
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
24 August-30 August 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, 24 August-30 August 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 24-30 August, HVO reported that the level of the lava-lake surface in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u crater periodically fluctuated but remained below the inner ledge 75 m below the crater floor. At Pu'u 'O'o' crater, lava from sources on the E and S portions of the crater floor fed a lava lake that was formed during 25-26 August. A new source opened at the W edge of the crater floor during 29-30 August, and lava quickly spread N and S along the base of the W 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.