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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 31 August-6 September 2011


Kilauea

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
31 August-6 September 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, 31 August-6 September 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (31 August-6 September 2011)

Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During 31 August-6 September, 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 mostly stable below the inner ledge 75 m below the crater floor. Periodic measurements indicated that the gas plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash and occasionally fresh spatter nearby. At Pu'u 'O'o' crater, lava from sources on the E portion of the crater floor fed a perched lava lake. Lava from a source at the W edge of the crater floor spread N and S along the base of the W crater wall and up to the base of the W, inactive wall of the perched pond. During 2-3 September a new perched pond fed from the W-edge source had formed.

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)