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Current Activity
Kilauea eruption update:
Fri, 23 Oct 2020, 16:18
Location of today's quakes (red) near the summit of Kilauea volcano
A swarm of small shallow earthquakes has been occurring today in an area 2-3 miles northwest of the summit caldera, near the Highway 11. ... read all
Sat, 10 Oct 2020, 09:02
Panorama view of Halemaʻumaʻu water lake taken 09 October 2020 (Image: USGS live webcam)
To capture the public’s attention, some news articles occasionally over-exaggerate on the scientific truth, elaborating on evidence and observation. Is the Halema‘uma‘u Crater within Kīlauea Volcano really “turning into a deadly crater lake?” as portrayed in a recent Forbes article and thus triggering similar eye-catching news stories. One article claims “the volcano is quickly turning into a crater lake full of lava” - a statement that is very misleading and, scientifically, inaccurate for the volcano in question. ... read all
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, 19.41°N / -155.29°W
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)
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Last update: 23 Oct 2020 (small earthquake swarm NW of summit caldera)
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), 1983-2018 (incl. 1986, 1992, 1997, 2007, 2011 (3x)), 2018 (lower east rift zone in Leilani subdivision) Haleamaumau crater in the center of the Kilauea caldera - the heart of Kilauea volcano
TimeMag. / DepthDistanceLocation
Wed, 28 Oct 2020 (UTC)
27 Oct 10:40 pm (GMT -10) (28 Oct 08:40:35 UTC)M 1.8 / 2.1 km3 km4 Km SW of Volcano, Hawaii, USA
27 Oct 7:55 pm (GMT -10) (28 Oct 05:55:44 UTC)M 2.0 / 28.8 km25 km9 Km E of Pāhala, Hawaii, USA
27 Oct 6:15 pm (GMT -10) (28 Oct 04:15:20 UTC)M 1.8 / 30.5 km22 km9 Km ENE of Pāhala, Hawaii, USA
27 Oct 5:57 pm (GMT -10) (28 Oct 03:57:52 UTC)M 1.8 / 31.6 km25 km6 Km ENE of Pāhala, Hawaii, USA
27 Oct 4:13 pm (GMT -10) (28 Oct 02:13:45 UTC)M 1.9 / 30.6 km26 km5 Km E of Pāhala, Hawaii, USA
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.

Kilauea Photos:

Lava lake inside Kilauea volcano's West Gap crater. The whole crust covering the lake has just been overturned, exposing the red hot glowing interior. hawaii_e7837 (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Lava lake inside Kilauea volcano's West Gap crater. The whole crust covering the lake has just been overturned, exposing the red hot glowing interior. hawaii_e7837 (Photo...
Several effusive vents arranged in a row on top of a dyke, feeding lava flows into Puka Nui collapse pit at Pu'u 'O'o crater, Kilauea volcano. hawaii_e7579.jpg (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Several effusive vents arranged in a row on top of a dyke, feeding lava flows into Puka Nui collapse pit at Pu'u 'O'o crater, Kilauea volcano. hawaii_e7579.jpg (Photo: To...
Breaking wave over glowing lava. Kilauea volcano, Big Island, Hawai'i (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Breaking wave over glowing lava. Kilauea volcano, Big Island, Hawai'i (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
 


Kilauea volcano tours
Hawaii - Birthplace of Islands (14 days walking and study tour to Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Hawai'i)
Dream Come True - World Volcano Tour (4-week round-the-world trip to Hawaii - Vanuatu - New Zealand - Indonesia)
Pele´s Fire and Myths (7 days walking tour exploring Kilauea´s historic eruption sites, Hawai'i)

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See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8
 

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