Report on Kilauea (United States) — 16 March-22 March 2022
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 March-22 March 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, 16 March-22 March 2022. 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 lava effusion from vents in the lower W wall of Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater continued at variable rates during 15-22 March; effusion briefly paused during 0145-0445 on 18 March. Lava flowed in the active W part of the lava lake causing circulation in the lake that was visible on most days. At around 0700 on 16 March a lava flow originating from the embayment just N of the western vent area traveled NW onto the crater floor; this flow periodically advanced through the week. Ooze outs of lava along the lake’s margins were visible on a few of the days; a notable one began along the N margin at 0345 on 21 March and persisted through the next 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.