Kilauea is located on the biggest island of Hawaii. It the the youngest of all the volcanoes on the island and is located on the southeast side. The whole area of the volcano is 1430 km² which is just about 14% of the whole area of Hawaii. The name “Kilauea” means “spewing” or “much spreading.” It is named this because of the type of lava flow seen here. The lava found here is low in silica making is less viscous. This allows the magma to spew out of the volcano slowly without large eruptions. This is also why this volcano is categorized as a shield volcano. There is such a small incline on these volcanoes that the magma cant travel far distances before it hardens. Making these very large spread out volcanoes.
No one knows when Kilauea began to erupt. It has been estimated that volcanic activity began here about 300,000 to 600,000 years ago. Since its formation is has been active with no long periods of inactivity. It is believed that it reached the surface about 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. This volcano ca now erupt from three different places. This summit is the first place. Here the eruption happen at the most localized spot. The other two places of eruption are at the rift zones. This rift zones are where the most eruptions occur, but at different places along the rift zones. Since January 3, of 1983, these rift zones have been spewing lava every day without stopping, making the worlds most active volcanoes.
The eruptions here tend to small and magma tends to spew out like fountains. These eruptions can be dangerous though. If you get to close to the crater of the volcano and an eruption was to occur then you probably would die. Lets hope you would put your face over the crater of an active volcano. Also the lava flows from these volcanoes can be deadly. The low viscous lava allows for the lava to move at proportionally high speeds. Lava flows can be ever changing and hikers in the area must pay special attention to where the lava flows are located so the do not walk into one. There also also earthquakes that happen here do to the magmatic activity. Many of these earthquakes are small, but the larger ones can damage roads, houses, and even trigger tsunamis. The largest magmatic earthquake to happen in Hawaii was a 7.9 in April of 1868, which caused at 15 ft high tsunami.
It is expected that Kilauea will erupt for the rest of our lifetime and probably till the end of human existence. The only way Kilauea will ever stop erupting on out lifetime is for there to be a massive explosive eruption, but that is highly unlikely.

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One Response to Kilauea

  1. emilyhartman says:

    I went to Hawaii a couple of years ago, and almost directly after we got back we heard about a volcanic eruption. It makes me wonder if it was Kilauea. I’m really glad I didn’t know I was near an active volcano at the time.

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