The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Since the year of 1983, this volcano continues to erupt up to this day. Its lava continuously flow that volcanologists would come to Kilauea to study its eruption.
In the archipelago of Hawaii, there are many other volcanoes long before the Kilauea volcano was born. In fact, Kilauea is one of the youngest volcanoes in Hawaiian Islands and it is located on the southeast area. Its caldera was formed only on 1790 AD while many other volcanoes have formed millions of years ago.
According to legend, it is believed by the locals that the Kilauea volcano is the home of the goddess Pele and some of its eruptions are even named after her. There were Pele’s Tears and Pele’s Hair that was named because of the shapes of lava formed. The Kilauea volcano in Hawaiian mythology is the place where Pele had a fight with Kamapua’a. The fight between Pele and Kamapua’a resulted in a draw and they both decided to split the island as Kamapua’a took the northeast part while Pele got the other side.
The literal meaning of Kilauea is “spewing” which is a perfect name for a volcano such as Kilauea that constantly pours out lava. The reason why Kilauea volcano continued to pour out lava since 1983 is due to the Pacific Plate. It continues to move towards Hawaii thus its lava flows and numerous eruptions were recorded. The most recent cinder that formed in this volcano is the Puu Oo and this is where all the recent lava flow comes from.
The Hawaiian Island is made up of 5 shield volcanoes whose eruptions are sequential and overlaps one another. These 5 volcanoes formed the entire Island of Hawaii. The first of these volcanoes is now extinct named Kohala. The second and third volcanoes are now dormant but may still erupt in the future; Mauna Kea and Hualalai. The fourth of the shield volcanoes is still active today and it’s Mauna Loa. Last is the Kilauea.
Kilauea volcano had notable eruptions in the past. In 1790, an eruption had killed a group of warriors and their family members. In 1959, it produced a fountain of lava that reached the height of up to 580 meters. In recent years, due to the constant flow of lava from the volcano, the lava reaches the shore towards the Pacific Ocean. Once lava flows to the Pacific Ocean and hit the waves, the lava would explode causing extreme heat to the nearby surfaces. This is a normal Earth process that causes the formation of new land. In fact, Kilauea’s surface is mostly quite young. 90% of its surface is only 1,100 years old or younger as it accumulates in time. The continued eruption and flowing of lava causes the island to increase its surface. Over 26 years of continued eruption through its Puu Oo vent, it had built over 230 hectares of new land out into the sea.