Following a 22-month hiatus in eruptive activity, Kilauea volcano extruded roughly 35 ?? 106 m3 of tholeiitic basalt from vents along its middle east rift zone during 13 September-1 October, 1977. The lengthy prelude to this eruption began with a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on 29 November, 1975, and included rapid summit deflation episodes in June, July, and August 1976 and February 1977. Synthesis of seismic, geodetic, gravimetric, and electrical self-potential observations suggests the following model for this atypical Kilauea eruptive cycle. Rapid summit deflation initiated by the November 1975 earthquake reflected substantial migration of magma from beneath the summit region of Kilauea into the east and southwest rift zones. Simultaneous leveling and microgravity observations suggest that 40-90 ?? 106 m3 of void space was created within the summit magma chamber as a result of the earthquake. If this volume was filled by magma from depth before the east rift zone intrusive event of June 1976, the average rate of supply was 6-13 ?? 106 m3/month, a rate that is consistent with the value of 9 ?? 106 m3/month suggested from observations of long-duration Kilauea eruptions. Essentially zero net vertical change was recorded at the summit during the 15-month period beginning with the June 1976 intrusion and ending with the September 1977 eruption. This fact suggests that most magma supplied from depth during this interval was eventually delivered to the east rift zone, at least in part during four rapid summit deflation episodes. Microearthquake epicenters migrated downrift to the middle east rift zone for the first time during the later stages of the February 1977 intrusion, an occurrence presumably reflecting movement of magma into the eventual eruptive zone. This observation was confirmed by tilt surveys in May 1977 that revealed a major inflation center roughly 30 km east of the summit in an area of anomalous steaming and forest kill first noted in March 1976. ?? 1980.