Kilauea "Impact Craters"


While wandering around Kilauea Caldera some years ago, looking at old ash fall layers and faults, I noticed something interesting;
Circles of rocks, often with a rock and/or a plant in the center.

After seeing enough of them, it seemed like these were caused by ejecta from the 1924 Kilauea explosive eruption. (check it out!)
It would be cool to do a "trench" across the middle of one of these, but I don't think the park is going to allow it.

For the technically minded / nit-pickers, these are "impact pits" rather than "impact craters"

At the moment, you can't drive to the parking area closest to this area.
High SO2 emissions from Halemaumau have caused the closure of Crater Rim Drive
from the Chain of Craters Road turnoff to the Jagger Museum.




Overview Map
Location of "craters" - Ejecta from 1924 Halemaumau eruption into 1790 (and older) ash          
From Google Earth          




Impact sag crater, rock flew (possibly from Keanakakoi)
and fell into older ash (1790 and older) - road cut

Closeup of rock and sag pit
(What Barringer expected! an offset meteorite)

Plant in the middle

Rock and plant

Robert Strong next to a "crater"










After the 19 March 2008 Halema'uma'u Eruption, HVO posted the following images on their pages - showing the results of impact

Kilauea Rock Impact 19-Mar-08HVO image

Looks like a ~25cm rock with a ~80cm "crater"



Kilauea rock impact 19-Mar-08HVO image

There appear to be 3 "impacts" - one with its rock missing (collected?)



Updated 31-May-2009
ted Brattstrom