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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 12 November-18 November 2014


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 November-18 November 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 November-18 November 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (12 November-18 November 2014)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 12-18 November HVO reported that Kilauea’s 27 June NE-trending lava flow continued to be active. On 15 November the closest active lava to Pahoa Village Road was about 630 m upslope of the road. Multiple breakouts were active upslope of Apa’a Street and Cemetery Road, including a breakout traveling along the S margin of the earlier flow that crossed Cemetery Road and burned the road surface. During an overflight on 17 November, scientists noted a marked decrease in the surface breakouts that have been active N of Kaohe Homesteads, and near Apa’a Street and the Pahoa Japanese Cemetery during the previous few weeks. This decrease in supply was caused by a large breakout from the lava tube at Pu’u Kahauale’a, near Pu'u 'O'o, which began overnight during 14-15 November. A report on 18 November noted that the lower portion of the lava flow, near the Kaohe Homesteads and Pahoa, had stalled, but breakouts remained active in the upslope portion of the flow between 1.6 km and 9 km NE of Pu'u 'O'o.

The circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u Crater. Gas emissions remained elevated. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of tephra onto nearby areas; smaller particles may have been dropped several kilometers away. At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from several outgassing openings in the crater floor.

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)