Report on Kilauea (United States) — 23 December-29 December 2015
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 December-29 December 2015
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2015. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 December-29 December 2015. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
HVO reported that seismicity beneath Kilauea's summit, upper East Rift Zone, and Southwest Rift Zone was at background levels during 23-29 December. The lava lake continued to circulate and spatter in the Overlook vent. Webcams recorded multiple incandescent outgassing vents within Pu'u 'O'o Crater and high on the northeast rim. The June 27th NE-trending lava flow continued to be active within 6 km NE of Pu'u 'O'o Crater.
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.