An aerial view of the erupting Pu'u 'O'o crater on Hawaii's Kilauea volcano taken at dusk on June 29, 1983.
To the casual observer, Kilauea appears to be part of the larger volcano Mauna Loa, but geological data indicates that it is a separate volcano with its own vent and conduit system. The long-lasting eruption has destroyed more than 200 structures, including the Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park visitor center, the Royal Gardens subdivision and many homes and buildings in the town of Kalapana. Native Hawaiian oral traditions record the extraordinary eruptive history of Kilauea long before European and American missionaries wrote about it in their journals. The volcano has destroyed hundreds of homes and other structures and frequently damages local utilities and roads. The exciting volcanic activity continues to evolve on Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Meanwhile, 25 miles down to the coast at the end of Chain of Craters Road you can hike to an area where lava from Kilauea Volcano was at one time flowing into the sea. Lava continues to erupt from about a dozen new points along a crack in the west flank of Pu’u ‘O’o, report USGS geologists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.


Meanwhile, officials at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park reopened Chain of Craters Road at 4 p.m. It is a shield-type volcano that makes up the southeastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii. Unlike most volcanoes, the Hawaiian chain sits squarely in the middle of the Pacific plate rather than on a tectonic boundary. In 2009, Cecily Wolfe of the University of Hawaii used sea bottom sensors to identify how seismic waves propagate through the pliable mantle layer beneath the Earth’s crust. Scientific study of the volcano began when geologist Thomas Jagger of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology visited Hawaii on a lecture tour and was approached by local businessmen.
As the lava field spread, cooled and spread again over the next three years it destroyed many homes and the Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Visitors can also still get stunning views of the heavy plume of steam and gas from the Volcano House hotel and along the adjacent trail.
The volcano rises 4,190 feet (1,227 meters) above sea level and is about 14 percent of the land area of the Big Island.


This eruptive phase cannot be accessed by the public, however the rangers at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park visitors center are sharing the latest videos and photographs from this site and others around the park. The small museum has informative volcanology exhibits and an excellent bookstore with DVDs, posters, maps, t-shirts and more — all of it contributing to our understanding of volcanoes in this extraordinary national park. The summit caldera contains a lava lake known as Halema`uma`u that is said to be the home of the Hawaiian volcano goddess, Pele. Over time, the countless eruptions increase the height of the seamount until it breaks the ocean surface and becomes an island volcano. Wilson proposed that the linear geography of the Hawaiian Islands is due to the movement of the Pacific plate over a stationary point of great heat from deep within the Earth.. The flows remained entirely within Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and pose no direct hazard to any developed areas.



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