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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 8 August-14 August 2012


Kilauea

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
8 August-14 August 2012
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2012. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 August-14 August 2012. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (8 August-14 August 2012)

Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During 8-14 August HVO reported that the circulating lava lake periodically rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater. Measurements indicated that the gas plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of spatter and Pele's hair onto nearby areas. There were no significant geologic changes in Pu'u 'O'o Crater; a few days before 11 August a new glowing vent SE of the crater appeared, probably from a newly-opened skylight in the lava-tube system feeding flows on the pali and coastal plain. Lava flows were active on the pali and the coastal plain. The active lava-flow front was about 2 km from the ocean on 14 August.

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)