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Report on Kilauea (United States) — 19 January-25 January 2022


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 January-25 January 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 January-25 January 2022. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (19 January-25 January 2022)


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

HVO reported that lava effusion resumed at the vent in the lower W wall of Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater at around 1045 on 18 January. By 1630 the level of the lava lake had risen 12 m, slightly surpassing the high recorded on 12 January, but then slightly dropped within 30 minutes. The W part of the lake was active. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was about 2,100 tonnes per day the next day. During 19-20 January lava oozed out along the SE and NW margins of the lake, though by the afternoon of the 20th the active portion of the lake was small and located N of the cone. Just after 0400 on 21 January the effusion rate increased and the W half of the lake was again active. Notable overflows of lava later that evening sent flows NW, SW, and SE. The lake level dropped 9 m during the morning of 22 January, and again only a small portion of the lake was active. Lava oozed out from the E and NW lake margins. Lava input into the small lake became intermittent starting at around 1500 on 23 January, though lava oozed out along the NW and S margins. The effusion rate increased at 0552 on 25 January and lava flowed W and N along the crater margins. By 0820 the lava lake had risen 11 m. 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.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)