Kilauea Facts

Kilauea Facts
Kilauea is one of five volcanoes that make up the Island of Hawaii. Kilauea is an active volcano, and the most active of the five volcanoes. It has been erupting continuously since 1983. Kilauea is estimated to be between 300,000 and 600,000 years old. It is located along Hawaii's south shore, and is believed to have reached sea level approximately 100,000 years ago. Kilauea is a Hawaiian word meaning 'much spreading' or 'spewing', named as such because of its frequent lava flow. The majority of Kilauea's lava is less than 1000 years old. Kilauea's first well-documented eruption occurred in 1823, but evidence shows there have been many explosive eruptions prior to this date.
Interesting Kilauea Facts:
Kilauea is a shield volcano, which means it has a broad, gently sloping cone, similar to the shield of a warrior. Shield volcanoes are the largest volcanoes on earth.
Kilauea is one of five volcanoes making up Hawaii. The other four are Kohala, Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Mauna Kea.
Kohola is the oldest volcano on Hawaii Island at more than one million years old and Kilauea is the youngest at between 300,000 and 600,000 years old.
An eruption in 1790 killed at least 80 people. These people were Native Hawaiians and believed to have been a party of warriors. Their footprints can be viewed in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Since Kilauea's 1918 eruption it has only been dormant for 18 years between 1934 and 1952.
Kilauea's summit caldera is large at 2 miles by 2 miles in size. Its walls reach 400 feet. Estimates suggest that the caldera began to form approximately 500 years ago.
Kilauea's caldera is believed to be the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele's home.
Since 1823 Kilauea has had 61 different eruptions.
Kilauea covers about 14% of Hawaii's Big Island.
It was once thought that Kilauea was actually part of the extremely large volcano named Mauna Loa, but that theory was proven wrong as it has its own conduit and vent system.
Kilauea's eruptions have destroyed more than 200 buildings. Some of the structures destroyed by the lava flowing from Kilauea include the Royal Gardens subdivision, the visitor center at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and many buildings in Kalapana.
In March 1990 Kilauea began its most destructive period since 1823, leaving 50 to 80 feet of lava covering a church, a store, and more than 100 homes.
The first United States president to visit Kilauea's caldera was Franklin D. Roosevelt, in July, 1934. He offered ohelo berries to Pele, the Volcano goddess, while in the caldera of Kilauea. In September the same year Kilauea erupted.
In 1959 Kilauea erupted and sent lava 1900 feet into the air like a fountain. The fountain of lava reached three times the height of the Washington monument.
The eruption of Kilauea in 1983 damaged many homes and closed highways but did not result in any deaths.
In 2014 Kilauea's lava flow threatened to destroy the Hawaiian town Pahoa, but the flow stopped short of the town and by 2015 the threat appeared to be greatly reduced.
Kilauea remains a popular tourist attraction, despite the risk associated with its eruptions.


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