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Kilauea Volcano

Kilauea Volcano







Description of Kilauea Volcano

Location: Hawaii Island, HI  Map

Elevation: 1,277 m (4,190 ft)


Kilauea Volcano is situated in the Hawaii Island in Hawaii, United States. Kilauea Volcano is particularly famous for its geological activity that ironically draws thousands of tourists annually. It reaches the total height of 1,277 m (4,190 ft). The volcano is fairly "young". It is only 300,000 to 600,000 years old. Local Hawaiians believed that Kilauea is the body of the deity Pele, goddess of volcanoes as well as wind, lighting and fire.




Kīlauea is a hyperactive shield volcano in Hawaii, and the most active of the five volcanoes that make up the island of Hawaii. It is also one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. Located along the south coast of the island, the volcano, with an age of 300,000 to 600,000 years, emerged from the sea about 100,000 years ago. It is the second most recent volcano formed by the hot spot of Hawaii and the current eruptive center of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain. As it lacks topographical prominence and because its eruptive activity coincided historically with that of Mauna Loa, Kilauea was erroneously considered a satellite of its much larger neighbor. Structurally, Kilauea has a summit with a large caldera that was recently formed, and two active rupture zones extending 125 km to the east and 35 km to the west respectively, forming an active fault line, of unknown depth, which moves vertically with an average of 2 to 20 mm per year.

The eruptive history of Kilauea has been very long and active; its name means "spitting" or "spreading a lot" in Hawaiian, in reference to its frequent lava flows. The volcano's first lava flows date back to the pre-submarine shield stage, and samples of its submerged slopes were recovered by ROV. Other lava samples were recovered through drill cores. 90% of the volcano is covered by igneous rocks with an age of less than 1000 years; the oldest igneous rocks exposed on the surface have an age of 2100 and 2800 years. The first documented eruption of Kilauea occurred in 1823, and since then the volcano has erupted repeatedly. Most of the historical eruptions have occurred at the summit or in the area of ​​southwestern rupture of the volcano, and had a prolonged and effusive character; however, the geological record shows that explosive eruptions were very common at the time before contact with Europeans, and if the explosive activity were restarted, it would represent a much greater danger to the population. The current eruption of Kilauea dates back to January 3, 1983, and is by far the longest historical eruption of the volcano and one of the longest eruptions in the world; As of January 2011, the eruption produced 3.5 km³ of lava and resurfaced 123.2 km² of land.

The high state of activity of the Kilauea has a strong impact on the ecology of its slopes, where the growth of plants is often interrupted by the fall of tephra and the drift of volcanic sulfur dioxide, producing acid rain, especially in a arid zone south of the southwest rupture zone, known as the Ka'ū desert. However, wildlife thrives in undisturbed places on the volcano and is highly endemic as a result of the isolation of the Kilauea - and of the island of Hawai - from the closest continental mass.

Historically, the Hawaiian people considered the island's five volcanoes as sacred, and in Hawaiian mythology the Halemaumau crater of Kilauea was seen as the body and home of Pele, the goddess associated with fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes William Ellis, a missionary from England, spent two weeks traveling along the volcano and gave the first modern account of Kilauea; Since its founding by Thomas Jaggar in 1912, the Hawaii Volcanological Observatory, which sits on the edge of the Kilauea caldera, served as the main scientific research entity of the volcano and the island in general. In 1916, US President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that established the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and since then the park has become a World Heritage Site and a major tourist destination that attracts about 2.6 million. of people annually.




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