Report on Kilauea (United States) — 7 December-13 December 2022
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 December-13 December 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, 7 December-13 December 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 6-8 December and entered the lava lake, though the eruption rate had diminished, and the floor of the crater had deflated. The eruption ceased on 9 December. During 10-12 December the lake crusted over, no incandescence was visible, and sulfur dioxide emissions had decreased to near pre-eruption background levels. On 13 December HVO lowered the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory (the second lowest level on a four-level scale) and the Aviation Color Code to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale).
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.