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Current Activity
Kilauea eruption update:
Aerial view of lava flow system on September 29, 2014 by USGS-HVO.
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014
Following several days of increased pressure at Kilauea's summit, lava activity is picking up on the June 27th flow with new flows continuing to move to the north, on a pathway leading slightly away from the town of Pāhoa for now. ... [more]
NASA satellite image of the flow area provided by USGS-HVO, showing "hot" areas widening the lava flow field on September 22, 2014.
Thursday, Sep 25, 2014
In the past few days, the front of the lava flow heading towards Pahoa has stalled its forward progress. There is still lava activity at a decreased level, but this is only widening the lava field instead of advancing further. ... [more]
Satellite photo of Kilauea volcano, showing the summit caldera and parts of its east rift zone with the active vent Pu'u 'O'o.
Satellite photo of Kilauea volcano, showing the summit caldera and parts of its east rift zone with the active vent Pu'u 'O'o.
Three-dimesional view of Kilauea volcano based on satellite imagery.
Three-dimesional view of Kilauea volcano based on satellite imagery.

Map of Kilauea volcano, Big Island Hawai'i
Map of Kilauea volcano, Big Island Hawai'i

Kilauea volcano

Shield volcano 1277 m (4,190 ft)
Hawai'i, 19.43°N / -155.29°W
Current status: erupting (4 out of 5)
Kilauea webcams / live data
Kilauea volcano videos
Last update: 30 Sep 2014
Typical eruption style: Dominantly effusive since 1790, but ~60% explosive over past ~2500 years.
Kilauea volcano eruptions: Near-continuous eruptions. Since 1960: 1961 (4x), 1962, 1963 (2x), 1965 (2x), 1967-68, 1968 (2x), 1969, 1969-74, 1971 (2x), 1973 (2x), 1974 (3x), 1975, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982 (2x), 1983-2013 (ongoing, incl. 1986, 1992, 1997, 2007, 2011 (3x)) Haleamaumau crater in the center of the Kilauea caldera - the heart of Kilauea volcano
TimeMag. / DepthDistanceLocation
Thu, 2 Oct
Thu, 2 Oct 06:59 UTCM 2.2 / 3 km6 km9km WNW of Volcano, Hawaii
Thu, 2 Oct 04:25 UTCM 1.8 / 2 km3 km2km SW of Volcano, Hawaii
Wed, 1 Oct
Wed, 1 Oct 20:31 UTCM 2.4 / 2.6 km6 km5km S of Volcano, Hawaii
Wed, 1 Oct 17:58 UTCM 0.9 / 7.5 km6 km21km ENE of Honaunau-Napoopoo, Hawaii
Wed, 1 Oct 15:48 UTCM 0.7 / 2.5 km2 km29km E of Honaunau-Napoopoo, Hawaii
View all recent quakes
Kilauea is the youngest and most active Hawaiian shield volcano, located on the southern part of the Island of Hawai'i, known as Big Island. Hawai'i is the southernmost and largest of the island chain, which owes its existence to the very active Hawaiian hot spot.
Kilauea volcano is near-constantly erupting from vents either on its summit (caldera) or on the rift zones. At present, Kilauea volcano is still having one of the most long-lived eruptions known on earth, which started in 1983 on the eastern rift zone and has mainly been concentrated at the Pu'u 'O'o vent.

Background:

Kilauea volcano, a youthful shield volcano, sitting on the south east flank of the massive Mauna Loa shield volcano, is the youngest volcano (on land) of the Hawaiian hot spot and not only the most active volcano of Hawaii but at the same time also the world's active volcano. It has been in near-constant activity since there is oral or written history and it is having an uninterrupted eruption since 1983 (at present at the Pu'u 'O'o vent on the East rift zone).

Its eruptions are prominent in Hawaiian Polynesian legends and written documentation about its activity go back to only 1820s when it started to attract interested visitor from all over the world and bacame one of volcanology's hot spots.

Kilauea has a large summit caldera with a central crater, Halemaumau, which is according to Hawaiian legends the home of the fire goddess Pele. Until 1924, it contained a lava lake. Kilauea has frequent summit and flank lava flow eruptions that are occurring along two elongated rift zones to the south-west and to the east, which extend to the sea on both sides of the volcano. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several stages about 1500 years ago. About 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is formed of lava flows less than about 1100 years old; 70% of the volcano's surface is younger than 600 years. The long-term eruption from the East rift zone that began in 1983 has produced lava flows covering more than 100 sq km, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new coastline to the island.

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