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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 12 May-18 May 2021


Kilauea

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
12 May-18 May 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 May-18 May 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (12 May-18 May 2021)

Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


HVO reported that the W vent on the inner NW wall of Kilauea's Halema`uma`u Crater continued to supply the 229-m-deep lava lake at a low rate through a submerged inlet during 12-18 May. Lava circulated in two small pools in the W part. The solidified portion comprised 99 percent of the total area, based on thermal measurements acquired on 13 May. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 115-225 tons per day during 12-14 May, continuing a downward trend that began in mid-April. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

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)