Essay about Kilauea Volcanoe

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Kilauea Volcano

By: Jeremy Dodson

Located in the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii and the Hawaiian Islands are the cone-shaped tops of gigantic ocean volcanoes.

Located in the southeast region of the Island of Hawaii, Kilauea sits on the flank (or the side) of the active Mauna Loa volcano, and is one of five shield volcanoes that together form the Island of Hawaii.

Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth, and it is the youngest. Kilauea stands just under 4,200 feet tall above sea level at its highest point.

The staff of the U.S. Geological Survey at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory currently lists Kilauea’s Volcano Alert Level as WATCH and its Aviation Color Code as ORANGE. Kilauea is studied and
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Kilauea rose above the surface of the sea as an island approximately 50,000-100,000 years ago.

Through geologic studies of surface exposures and drillhole samples, it is known that Kilauea is made mostly of lava flows. Research over the past few decades shows that Kilauea has its own magma-plumbing system, extending to the surface from more than 60km deep in the Earth. On an average day, Kilauea puts out several hundred thousand cubic yards of lava. It also causes frequent earthquakes, but many of them are small enough that only a few people feel them.

In Hawaiian the word Kilauea means “spewing” or “much spreading”, referring to the continuous lava flow. Kilauea is the home of Pele, the Hawaiian fire and volcano goddess.

Several special lava formations are named after Pele. Pele’s Tears are small droplets of lava that cool in the air and keep their teardrop shapes. They are jet black in color. Pele’s Hair are thin, brittle strands of volcanic glass that often form during the explosions that occur with a lava flow, usually from lava fountains.

Kilauea Crater is part of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Kilauea is the Earth’s most visited active volcano.

Unlike most other active volcanoes, Kilauea is approachable, is world-famous, and has been called the “drive-up” volcano because of the easy access to many of its areas of volcanic activity, especially the summit caldera.

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