Report on Kilauea (United States) — 22 March-28 March 2017
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
22 March-28 March 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 22 March-28 March 2017. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 22-28 March HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise, fall, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook crater. A small collapse of the S part of the crater wall at 0035 on 23 March was followed by a short time of increased spatter.
Webcams recorded incandescence from long-active sources within Pu'u 'O'o Crater, from a vent high on the NE flank of the cone, and from a small lava pond in a pit on the W side of the crater. The 61G lava flow, originating from a vent on Pu'u 'O'o Crater's E flank, continued to enter the ocean at Kamokuna from the end of the lava tube, about 20 m above the water; the ocean entry was not consistently visible during the week. Surface lava flows were active above the pali, with most of the activity located 1.9-2.9 km from the 61G vent. During 24-25 March HVO noted that a delta had begun to form at the ocean entry, for the first time since the previous one had collapsed on 31 December 2016.
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.