Report on Kilauea (United States) — 6 September-12 September 2017
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 September-12 September 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, 6 September-12 September 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 6-12 September HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise, fall, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook crater, though a deflationary trend the second half of the week caused the lake level to mostly drop. Several rockfalls and collapses of the inner crater wall veneer were noted during 7-10 September; frequent rockfalls were not uncommon during periods of lake level lowering. Webcams recorded incandescence from long-active sources within Pu'u 'O'o Crater 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. Surface lava flows were active above and on the pali, and on the coastal plain. HVO noted that cracks running parallel to the coastline underscored the potential for bench collapse into the sea.
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.