Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii: Description, Interesting Facts

Kilauea Volcano is located in the south. It is relatively young, but very active. Experts consider it the most active volcano in our time. Its incessant eruption has been occurring since 1983.

General information

The name of the volcano Kilauea in translation from Hawaiian means “belching”. Its height is 1247 meters, the volcano is located next to its “brother” Manua Loa, but differs from it in lower growth.

The beginning of the last eruption occurred on January 3, 1983 and still does not stop. Since 2011, an intense activity of the eruption has been observed.

At the top of the volcano Kilauea is a large caldera. This is a basin measuring 3 by 4 km. There is a crater in it, which has been active since 2008. Crater called Halemaumau, he spews a powerful pillar of gas and lava. Of course, this is not the only crater of the volcano, the Western and Southeastern rift zones are rich in them.There are also two cones with interesting names Kupayanakha and Puu-oo, from which lava also flows.

The volcano has two fault zones: one stretches 125 km to the east, the second - 35 km to the west.

volcano Kilauea

The beliefs of the locals

The inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands have long worshiped the goddess Pele. She is considered the patroness of volcanoes and, according to legends, lives in the Kilauea volcano. At the first shudders of the elements, the tribe of natives, together with the oldest sorcerer, rises to the summit of Kilauea.

Pagans call the lake of lava "the house of eternal fire." Its fiery surface rises, emitting streams of lava, gases and vapors. The natives, with the prayers of the goddess, throw sacrifices (birds and gifts of the earth) into a boiling lake, called the "womb" of the goddess. They appeal to Pele and ask to save them from disaster. The natives believe that if the goddess is appeased, she will be supportive and will not erupt with fiery lava.

Lava products are named after the goddess. For example, “Pele’s tears” are called miniature drops of lava, “hair” - stripes of cooled lava in the wind, “algae” - flowing lava into the ocean.

Kilauea volcano in Hawaii

Element today

The shape of the volcano refers to the shield.This means that it was formed as a result of lava emissions. Liquid lava spreads over many kilometers, and a “shield” is formed from its layers.

The volcano has several craters. The slope of the volcano is gently sloping, and one can climb it without having climbing skills. Many tourists indulge in this dangerous occupation, risking their own lives. Of course, to see a volcanic eruption is an incomparable sensation, but we must not forget that being close to the elements is extremely dangerous.

In recent years, lava destroyed a lot of trails and buildings. Of course, local residents have adapted to specific living conditions. They install houses on stilts. Ornito are considered very dangerous - these are vents that release high-temperature gases. Magma around them is unstable, and there is a risk of failure.

Kilauea volcanic eruption

Participation of the volcano in the process of building islands

An interesting fact is that the Hawaiian Islands themselves were formed as a result of the action of several volcanoes. In fact, the islands are the tops of vast volcanoes emerging from the depths of the ocean. This geographical location of the islands is truly unique on planet Earth.

Many Hawaiian volcanoes have an age of over 70 million years. Kilauea is the youngest among them. It is located in the south-east of the Big Island. All the local volcanoes erupted from ancient times, being in the waters of the ocean, and now their tops rise above sea level. And some are so high that they surpass many famous mountain peaks.

The exclusivity of the volcano

Scientists emphasize the exclusivity of the Kilauea volcano, calling it the most active in Hawaii. He is currently the most active and on the entire planet.

Kilauea rose from the sea 100,000 years ago, after a series of eruptions. Previously, Kilauea was considered only accompanying the neighbor Manua Loa. However, Kilauea was later found to have its own igneous chamber. This is the "heart" of the volcano, formed by hot lava.

The vast majority of the slopes of Kilauea are covered with hardened lava, which does not exceed 1000 years old. Lava sites are interspersed with debris and ash. Much of the mountain remains under water.

Hawaii began a strong eruption of Kilauea Volcano


In January 1983, a massive eruption of Kilauea volcano began in Hawaii. From the crater called Puu-oo lava flows in huge quantities.Such an eruption is considered the largest in the last 5 centuries in the region of the Eastern Rift Zone.

By the end of 2012, lava flows swept 125.5 km2, thereby destroying the habitable land. The total area of ​​such territory was 202 hectares. Lava destroyed 214 buildings and eliminated 14.5 km of roads.

The eruption of Kilauea volcano greatly affects the ecology of neighboring lands. Plants stop growing due to the outpouring of lava, and because of the sulfur gases carried by the wind, acid rain occurs. Especially such rains are frequent in the desert South-West rift zone.

fire-breathing and dangerous Kilaua volcano

Tourist interest

Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii attracts many tourists. It is included in the local National Park, where annually crowds of connoisseurs of extreme rest gather.

The park has more than 240 tourist trails. Some of them are light, others are very long. Along one such trail, one can pass to the inactive crater Kilauea, which erupted in 1959, cross its bottom, and pass by a funnel many years ago. A very exciting route!

Not far from the entrance to the park is the Kilauea Information Center, where the Rangers will tell a lot of interesting things about the life of volcanoes, as well as offer exciting tours to everyone. Here you can buy souvenirs.

Here it is, the fire-breathing and dangerous volcano of Kilauea, which attracts with its unexploredness both scientists-volcanologists and curious tourists from all over the world.

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