Report on Kilauea (United States) — 11 May-17 May 2022
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 May-17 May 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, 11 May-17 May 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 continued to effuse from a vent in the lower W wall of Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater during 10-17 May, entering the active lava lake and flowing onto the crater floor. By 10 May the total volume of erupted lava was an estimated 77 million cubic meters, and the lake which had risen a total of 106 m since 29 September 2021. The surface of the lava lake was active all week, though the height of the lake was high and relatively stable. Breakouts of lava occurred along the NE and NW margins of the lake during 10-11 May, and more notably from the E margins the rest of the week. 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.