Facts about Mt. Kilauea


Kilauea is one of the five volcanoes that make up the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Kilauea, the most active of the five volcanoes, is an active volcano. It has been continuously erupting since 1983. Kilauea is thought to be 300,000 to 600,000 years old. It is located on Hawaii's south shore and is thought to have reached sea level 100,000 years ago. Kilauea is a Hawaiian word that means "much spreading" or "spewing," and it was given this name because of its frequent lava flows. The majority of the lava on Kilauea is less than 1000 years old. Kilauea's first well-documented eruption occurred in 1823, but evidence indicates that there were numerous explosive eruptions prior to this date.

Kilauea is a shield volcano, which means it has a broad, gently sloping cone resembling a warrior's shield. Shield volcanoes are the world's largest volcanoes.

Kilauea is one of Hawaii's five volcanoes. Kohala, Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Mauna Kea are the other four.

Kohola is the oldest volcano on Hawaii Island, dating back more than a million years, while Kilauea is the youngest, dating back between 300,000 and 600,000 years.

In 1790, an eruption killed at least 80 people. These people were Native Hawaiians and were thought to be a warrior party. In Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, you can see their footprints.

Kilauea has only been dormant for 18 years, between 1934 and 1952, since its 1918 eruption.

Kilauea's summit caldera measures 2 miles by 2 miles. It has 400-foot-high walls. According to estimates, the caldera began to form around 500 years ago.

Kilauea's caldera is thought to be the home of the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele.

Kilauea has had 61 different eruptions since 1823.

Kilauea occupies about 14% of Hawaii's Big Island.

Kilauea was once thought to be a part of the massive Mauna Loa volcano, but that theory was disproven because it has its own conduit and vent system.

Kilauea's eruptions have destroyed over 200 structures. The Royal Gardens subdivision, the visitor center at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and many buildings in Kalapana were all destroyed by the lava flowing from Kilauea.

Kilauea began its most destructive period since 1823 in March 1990, covering a church, a store, and more than 100 homes with 50 to 80 feet of lava.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first US president to visit Kilauea's caldera in July 1934. While in Kilauea's caldera, he offered ohelo berries to Pele, the Volcano Goddess. Kilauea erupted in September of the same year.

Kilauea erupted in 1959, shooting lava 1900 feet into the air like a fountain. The lava fountain was three times the height of the Washington Monument.

Kilauea's 1983 eruption destroyed many homes and closed highways, but no one was killed.

Kilauea's lava flow threatened to destroy the Hawaiian town of Pahoa in 2014, but the flow stopped short of the town, and the threat appeared to be greatly reduced by 2015.

Despite the dangers associated with its eruptions, Kilauea remains a popular tourist destination.