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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 11 April-17 April 2018


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 April-17 April 2018
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2018. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 April-17 April 2018. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (11 April-17 April 2018)


United States

19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

During 11-17 April HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise, fall, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook crater. The lake level was high, with spattering visible from HVO and Jaggar Museum; by 16 April the lake level was 10 m below the rim of the Overlook crater. Surface lava flows were active above Pulama pali. On 11 April a moderate swarm of over 200 earthquakes occurred at depths of 7-9 km below the summit. The largest event was a M 2.4. Seismicity returned to background levels at 0230. Three minor ledge collapses were detected on 12 April, one at 1157 and two just after 1830. Surface lava flows were active above Pulama pali; on 13 April most scattered breakouts were within 2.2 km from Pu'u 'O'o Crater, and one was about 5 km away.

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.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)