Mount Kilauea

Facts about Kilauea Volcano, it's history and current eruptions


Mount Kilauea Facts

Kilauea - (kē´läwā´) is a shield volcano, located in a crater 3,646 ft (1,111 m) deep.

Kilauea can be found on the Big Island of Hawaii, on the southeastern slope of Mauna Loa, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Kilauea is one of largest active craters in the world, has a circumference of 8 mi (13 km) and is surrounded by a wall of volcanic rock 200 to 500 ft (61—152 m) high.

Kilauea is also the youngest volcano in Hawaii. In its floor is Halemaumau, a fiery pit. The usual level of the lake of molten lava is c.740 ft (230 m) below the pit's rim. The oldest dated rock is about 23,000 years old and the oldest eruption of Kilauea was about 300,000-600,000 years ago. (More history dates on Mount Kilauea)

Kilauea was formed under a hot spot under the crust. So were the other volcanoes on the Big Island such as Kohala, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai. There have been 34 eruptions since 1952 and 61 eruptions total. In early 1973, an earthquake occurred that caused Kilauea to stop erupting and instead erupt near the craters Pauahi and Hi'iaka.

Current eruption began January 3, 1983 and is called Pu'u'O'o.

Hawaii, nicknamed BIG ISLAND because of it's 8 major volcanoes, is currently 4038 square miles (approx. 6 500 square km ) and grows around 42 acres every year thanks to all of mount Kilauea's eruptions.

Mount Kilauea is one of 5 active volcanoes in Hawaii, others are Loihi, Mauna Loa, Hualalai and Haleakala.

Mount Kilauea Volcano is home of Fire Goddess, Pele.


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