Report on Kilauea (United States) — 17 May-23 May 2017
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 May-23 May 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 17 May-23 May 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 17-23 May HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise, fall, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook crater; the lake rose as high as 15 m below the crater rim and was visible from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park's Jaggar overlook. 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 adding to a growing delta. Surface lava flows were active above and on the upper slopes of the pali.
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.