Summary of Eruption Episodes 1-60

   Scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory have subdivided the multi-decade-long Pu'u 'O'o eruption of Kilauea into "episodes". Each new episode denotes vigorous new eruptive activity either from a different vent or after a pause or slowdown. For example, Episode 54 of the Pu'u 'O'o-Kupaianaha eruption began on January 30, 1997 at a new location (Napau Crater), and Episode 55 began on February 24, 1997 after a 24-day pause. Some episodes are well defined; others are more arbitrary. Overall they provide convenient markers along the course of an eruption. At times, two episodes have occured simultaneously (for example, episodes 48 and 49), which can add to the confusion of people not familiar with this numbering scheme. Episode 55 was a very long lived one (a decade). During tis episode HVO stopped releasing episode numbers to the public. They continued using this terminology in publications through 2011, so we continued updating parts of this table through 2011. Please see near the bottom of this document for an explanation of the terminology used here. inside Puu oo crater

The crater walls inside the Pu'u 'O'o cone, 1997

map of episodes

Map summarizing lava flows from episodes 1-58, from Orr, 2011 (full reference at bottom of this document

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Episode
number
Episode
Start
(M/Da/Yr)
Repose
Period
(days)
Episode
Length
Flow
Area
km2
Flow
Volume
106m3
Eruption
Rate
(103m3/hr)
Vent
Location
(see below)

1 1/03/83
99 hrs4.814141Fissure 1
2 2/25/83 33.0174 hrs2.71480Pu'u 'O'o & "1123" vent
3 3/28/83 23.5290 hrs7.938131Pu'u 'O'o
4 6/13/83 65.3100 hrs2.211110Pu'u 'O'o
5 6/29/83 11.990 hrs3.413144Pu'u 'O'o
6 7/22/83 19.373 hrs2.09.0123Pu'u 'O'o
7 8/15/83 20.656 hrs3.714250Pu'u 'O'o
8 9/06/83 19.524 hrs2.08.0333Pu'u 'O'o
9 9/15/83 8.452 hrs2.18.0154Pu'u 'O'o
10 10/05/83 17.264 hrs2.714219Pu'u 'O'o
11 11/05/83 29.343 hrs4.312279Pu'u 'O'o
12 11/30/83 22.435 hrs3.08.0229Pu'u 'O'o
13 1/20/84 50.142 hrs2.610238Pu'u 'O'o
14 1/30/84 8.319 hrs2.16.0316Pu'u 'O'o
15 2/14/84 14.319 hrs2.28.0421Pu'u 'O'o
16 3/03/84 17.032 hrs3.212375Pu'u 'O'o
17 3/30/84 25.323 hrs3.010435Pu'u 'O'o
18 4/18/84 18.660 hrs6.624400Pu'u 'O'o
19 5/16/84 25.044 hrs1.42.045Pu'u 'O'o
20 6/07/84 20.89 hrs1.64.0444Pu'u 'O'o
21 6/30/84 22.28 hrs1.95.7713Pu'u 'O'o
22 7/08/84 8.015 hrs2.77.7513Pu'u 'O'o
23 7/28/84 19.118 hrs3.39.5528Pu'u 'O'o
24 8/19/84 21.720 hrs3.711.6580Pu'u 'O'o
25 9/19/84 29.913.5 hrs3.311.1822Pu'u 'O'o
26 11/02/84 43.35 hrs1.66.61320Pu'u 'O'o
27 11/20/84 17.310 hrs2.38.4840Pu'u 'O'o
28 12/03/84 13.414.5 hrs3.612.5855Pu'u 'O'o
29 1/03/85 29.116 hrs3.813.0813Pu'u 'O'o
30 2/04/85 31.021 hrs4.114.1671Pu'u 'O'o
31 3/13/85 36.221.5 hrs4.819.4843Pu'u 'O'o
32 4/21/85 38.517.5 hrs4.816.3906Pu'u 'O'o
33 6/12/85 51.66 hrs2.27.91317Pu'u 'O'o
34 7/06/85 23.614 hrs2.310.6757Pu'u 'O'o
35 7/26/85 18.87 hrs2.97.21029Pu'u 'O'o
35A 7/27/85 0.7384 hrs0.84.512Fissure 2
36 9/02/85 21.19.5 hrs2.711.51211Pu'u 'O'o
37 9/24/85 21.812 hrs4.414.71225Pu'u 'O'o
38 10/21/85 25.98.5 hrs3.914.81762Pu'u 'O'o
39 11/13/85 23.110 hrs4.213.71398Pu'u 'O'o
40 1/01/86 48.513.5 hrs4.011.6859Pu'u 'O'o
41 1/27/86 25.811.5 hrs
13.7
Pu'u 'O'o
42 2/22/86 25.313.1 hrs
12.1
Pu'u 'O'o
43 3/22/86 27.111.4 hrs
10.3
Pu'u 'O'o
44 4/13/86 22.211 hrs
11.5
Pu'u 'O'o
45 5/07/86 23.515.1 hrs
9.4
Pu'u 'O'o
46 6/02/86 24.610.9 hrs
9.8
Pu'u 'O'o
47 6/26/86 23.612.6 hrs
8.8
Pu'u 'O'o
(1-47 summary)
3.5 yrs26385

48 7/20/86 24~5.5 yrs41~500
Kupaianaha
49 11/8/91 none18 days411
Fissure 3
50 2/17/92 1115 days0.53
Pu'u 'O'o Flank
51 3/7/92 4161 days1132
Pu'u 'O'o Flank
52 10/3/92 none15 days0.52
Pu'u 'O'o Flank
53 2/20/93 none~4 yrs~14.6~535
Pu'u 'O'o Flank
54 1/30/97 none1 day0.240.3
Napau
55 2/24/9724 10 years~100 (*)~1900 (*)
Pu'u 'O'o and Flank



* estimated values thru Jan 2000, episode ended in 2007
56 2007 brief brief


Napau
57 2007 2 week brief


Pu'u 'O'o crater
58 2007   4 yrs


Pu'u 'O'o and then down rift between Pu'u 'O'o and Kupaianaha
59 Mar 2011 brief brief


uprift of Pu'u 'O'o, near Napau
60
Jun 2011
brief
months...


Pu'u 'O'o crater
note: HVO stopped using this episode system for public release during episode 55 and on their web site. They continued using this terminology in publications through 2011, so we continued updating parts of this table through 2011. see http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/kilauea/summary/main.html for a chronological history without episode numbers.

Description of Vent Locations

       Fissure 1: 7 km long, discontinous fissure system extending from Napau to Kalalau.

       Fissure 2: just uprift (west) of Pu'u 'O'o.

       Fissure 3: ~2 km long, discontinous fissure system between Pu'u 'O'o and Kupaianaha

       "1123" vent: 1.5 km downrift (east) of Pu'u 'O'o

        "uprift": in the direction of Kilauea summit, generally in or near Napau crater, west of Pu'u 'O'o.

        "downrift": farther away from Kilauea summit, generally near Kupaianaha, east of Pu'u 'O'o.

       Pu'u 'O'o Flank: These are vents situated outside but near to the Pu'u 'O'o crater. For instance, lavas from episodes 50-53 and 55 rose up in the throat of Pu'u 'O'o vent but drained onto the flow field through vents on the south (episode 52 and 55) and west (episodes 50, 51, 53, 55) flanks of Pu'u 'O'o. Episode 53 began on 20 Feb 1993 by re-occupying an episode 52 vent; episode 51 lavas were still erupting from a nearby vent at this time. Episode 51 and 53 lavas comingled as they fed the lava tube running down to the coast and so all those lavas erupted after this date are considered by the USGS-HVO to be part of episode 53. Episode 55 lavas have arisen from numerous closely-spaced vents both within and without the Pu'u 'O'o crater. Some flows originating from within the crater have overflowed it and mantled the nearby flow field. HVO has lumped all of these vents into episode 55 for simplicity.
        After episode 55, the eruption has alternated between events in the crater and outside of it. For instance, episode 56 was a brief eruption in 2007 accompanied by a collapse of the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor. It partially refilled during Episode 57, then Episode 58 shifted downrift to erupt from a new vent in between Pu'u 'O'o and Kupaianaha a 4 year episode that, like episode 55, sent extensive lavas down to the coastal plain and into the ocean. A small uprift eruption (Episode 59) resulted in another collapse of the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor. Episode 60 began soon after within the crater. Subsequent activity, especially events in 2014 and 2015 that sent lavas east towards Pahoa, do not have publicly avalable episode numbers.

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Glossary of Terminology Used:

Data was compiled by K. Rubin and M. Garcia from the following sources:
  1. Wolfe (1988) U.S.G.S. Prof. Paper 1463; [episodes 1-20].
  2. G. Ulrich (1987) unpublished data; [episodes 21-47].
  3. U.S.G.S. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory unpublished data; [episodes 48, 50-55].
  4. Mangan and others (1995) Bulletin Volcanology, v. 57, p. 127-135; [episode 49].
  5. Heliker and others (1998) Bulletin Volcanology, v. 59, p. 381-393; [episodes 50-53].
  6. Orr (2011), Selected Time-Lapse Movies of the East Rift Zone Eruption of Kilauea Volcano, 2004-2008: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 621, 18 p. [espisode 56-59].
  7. Eruption updates at HVO website (no longer posted) - [episodes 54, 55].

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