Kilauea, Hawaii
Location: 19.4N, 155.3W
Elevation: 4,009 feet (1,222 m)

Years ago many scientist thought that the Kilauea was only a lump on the side of the giant Mauna Loa, but recent research has shown that the Kilauea has its own chamber that extends to 60 kilometers into the earth and it is recently active. Hawaiians call Kilauea only to the caldera of the volcano but recently scientist have referred to the entire volcano.

Kilauea is the youngest of the volcanoes on the Island of Hawaii and is the southeast Hawaiian volcano. Much of the volcano is below the sea. Recently the caldera formed in 1790 A.D. and contains a crater, Halemaumau. Two zones extend to the east and south. Kilauea is in the stage and is one of the most active volcanoes on the Earth. Over 90 percent of the surface is covered by lava. The eruption of Kilauea began in 1983 and is located on the East of the island. Eruptions of Kilauea are important in Polynesian legends. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several moments about 1500 years ago. Eruptions have also come from the East and SW rift zones, which reach to the sea on both sides of the volcano. A long eruption from the East rift zone that began in 1983 has created lava flows covering more than 100 sq km, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new land to the island.

Kilauea is the home of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess. Many old people say that the eruptions occurred because Pele was furious with the people since the first European, the missionary Rev. William Ellis, saw the summit in 1823. The caldera was the site of nearly continuous activity during the 19th century and the early part of this century. Since 1952 there have been 34 eruptions, and since January 1983 eruptive activity has been continuous along the east rift zone. All told, Kilauea ranks among the world's most active volcanoes and may even top the list.

Hawaiian Meaning

The Hawaiian name...