Report on Kilauea (United States) — 3 August-9 August 2016
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
3 August-9 August 2016
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2016. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 August-9 August 2016. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 3-9 August HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise and fall, circulate, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook vent. Late on 6 August an explosions triggered by a rockfall into the lake ejected voluminous amounts of hot spatter and rock debris onto the SE rim of Halema’uma’u Crater, covering a broad swath 80 m long and 50 m wide around the formerly-closed public overlook area.
Several incandescent vents on Pu’u ‘O’o Crater’s floor were evident in webcam images. The 61G lava flow, originating from a vent on Pu’u ‘O’o Crater’s E flank, continued to enter the ocean at Kamokuna in an area that spans 150-240 m wide. A small delta had formed at the entry. An active lobe of lava advanced along the W side of the flow field, crossed the Emergency Access road 500 m W of the main flow, and entered the ocean overnight during 8-9 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.