Report on Kilauea (United States) — 1 March-7 March 2023
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 March-7 March 2023
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2023. Report on Kilauea (United States) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 March-7 March 2023. 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 eruption on the floor of Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u Crater continued during 1-6 March but at a decreased rate. The western lake in the basin of the 2021-2022 lava lake remained weakly active; a few lava flows were visible on 1 March. A small amount of lava circulated within the lake and there were intermittent crustal overturns, but the lake was mostly crusted over and the active area got substantially smaller through the week; by 5 March the lake was completely crusted over. Minor lava ooze outs were visible on 6 March, and the eruption had paused by 7 March. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch (the second highest level on a four-level scale) and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest 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.