Report on Kilauea (United States) — 24 November-30 November 2021
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 November-30 November 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 November-30 November 2021. 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 summit eruption at Kilauea continued at a vent in the lower W wall of Halema`uma`u Crater during 24-30 November. The vent contained ponded and sometimes spattering lava that fed the lake through the E part of the W wall cone. The size of the active part of the lake varied, and lava periodically oozed from the cooler, outer margins of the lake onto the lowest of the exposed down-dropped caldera floor blocks. Earthquake activity remained below background levels and volcanic tremor was elevated. The sulfur dioxide emission rate had averaged 3,000 tonnes per day in recent weeks; on 23 November the rate was higher at 6,400 tonnes per day and on 29 November it was below the average at 1,200 tonnes per day. The Aviation Color Code and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Orange and Watch, respectively.
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.