Report on Kilauea (United States) — 25 July-31 July 2018
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
25 July-31 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, 25 July-31 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 within Halema`uma`u Crater continued during 18-24 July. Lava fountaining and spatter was concentrated at Fissure 8, feeding lava flows that continued to spread through Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivisions, and entered the ocean at Ahalanui.
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 about every other day (38.5 and 53.5 hours in between a few of the events). Sulfur dioxide emissions from the summit were very low.
Fountaining at Fissure 8 continued, producing Pele's hair and other volcanic glass that fell within Leilani Estates. The fountains continued to feed the lava flow that traveled NE, and then SSE, W of Kapoho Crater; lava occasionally overflowed the channel, and on 28 July ignited nearby vegetation. Small plumes of laze (a corrosive steam plume mixed with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic glass particles) were generated at several points along a broad 2-km-wide flow front at Ahalanui. The westernmost edge was less than 175 m NE of the boat ramp in Isaac Hale Park (by 30 July).
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.