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Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, Hawaii

November 15, 2012 by  

Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, Hawaii, Kilauea is a volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, and one of five shield volcanoes that together form the island of Hawai?»i. Kilauea means “spewing” or “much spreading” in the Hawaiian language, referring to its frequent outpouring of lava. Continuously erupting in the eastern rift zone since 1983, making it the longest rift-zone eruption of the last 200 years. Thirty-six eruptions have occurred since 1952. Lava less than 1000 years old covers 90% of Kilauea, and the volume of erupted material is large enough to pave a road around the world three times.

Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes on the planet and an invaluable resource for volcanologists who are able to study it up close due to its exclusively non-violent effusive activity. Since 2008, rising emissions of sulphur dioxide from the Halema?»uma?»u crater at Kilauea’s summit have led to increased levels of volcanic smog and air quality concerns. Located within Hawai?»i Volcanoes National Park, Kilauea is visited by millions of tourists each year, making it the most visited attraction in Hawaii and the most visited volcano in the world.

Despite its relative safety for researchers and visitors alike, Kilauea is regarded by the USGS as the most dangerous volcano in the U.S. In 2010-2011, lava destroyed several houses in the Kalapana area. In March 2012, lava from Kilauea completed the destruction of the Royal Gardens subdivision by burning the last remaining home there. According to the United States Geological Survey, the Volcanic-Alert Level for Kilauea as of April, 2012 is “Watch”. A Watch status is used to designate escalating unrest or a minor eruption underway that poses limited hazards.

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