Report on Kilauea (United States) — 4 July-10 July 2018
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
4 July-10 July 2018
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2018. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 4 July-10 July 2018. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
HVO reported that the eruption at Kilauea’s Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) and at Overlook Crater within Halema`uma`u Crater continued during 4-10 July. Lava fountaining and spatter was concentrated at Fissure 8, feeding lava flows that spread through Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivisions, and built out the coastline at multiple ocean entries. Fissure 22 produced spattering 50-80 m above its spatter cone and fed short lava flows that traveled NE on 4 July; weak spattering was visible form the cone the rest of the week.
Inward slumping of the crater rim and walls of Halema`uma`u continued, adjusting from the withdrawal of magma and subsidence of the summit area. Explosions from collapse events occurred almost daily, producing gas-and-ash-poor plumes.
Fountaining at Fissure 8 continued; lava fountains rarely rose higher than the 55-m-high spatter cone. Pele's hair and other volcanic glass from the fountaining fell within Leilani Estates. The fountains continued to feed the lava flow that traveled NE, and then SE around Kapoho Crater. Occasional overflows sent small flows down the sides of the channel that did not extend beyond areas previously covered in lava in the upper part of the channel; overflows further down traveled beyond the flow-field boundary. Small brush fires were ignited from some of the overflows. A thermal map from 6 July showed that lava was not entering the ocean from the main channel and that the open channel ended about 2 km inland. Lava was flowing into the ocean at the N part of the broad flow front. Observations on 9 July indicated that a blockage had formed upstream of Kapoho Crater, and by 10 July a small lobe was moving around the W side of the crater.
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.