Hawaii's Kilauea volcano began erupting again on Thursday, January 7th, less than one month after both it and its neighbor Mauna Loa stopped releasing lava.
- The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory detected a glow inside Halemaumau crater, the volcano's summit caldera, indicating that Kilauea had begun erupting again. Kilauea is located inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and is not near any residential communities.
About Kilauea Volcano
- Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is located on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is estimated to be between 210,000 and 280,000 years old and emerged above sea level about 100,000 years ago. Kilauea is the most active of the five volcanoes that make up the island of Hawaii and is also one of the most active volcanoes on Earth.
- The current eruption of Kilauea, which began on September 29, 2021, has involved several vents erupting lava within Halemaumau, a pit crater in the volcano's summit caldera. Kilauea is a shield volcano and is the second-youngest product of the Hawaiian hotspot. It is also the current eruptive center of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain.
- Historically, Kilauea was thought to be a satellite of its much larger neighbor Mauna Loa, but it has since been recognized as a separate volcano. Kilauea has a large caldera at its summit and two active rift zones, one extending 78 miles east and the other 22 miles west. Between 2008 and 2018, the pit crater Halemaumau hosted an active lava lake.
- The U.S. Geological Survey raised the alert level for Kilauea on Thursday due to signs that magma was moving below the summit surface, indicating that the volcano may erupt.
- This followed a period of activity in November 2021 when both Kilauea and Mauna Loa were erupting lava. Mauna Loa, which last erupted in 1983, began erupting on November 27th and both volcanoes stopped erupting at around the same time.
Kilauea is a highly active volcano and its current eruption, which began in September 2021, has been ongoing for several months. The recent increase in activity and the detection of a glow inside the summit caldera indicate that the eruption may continue or intensify in the coming days or weeks. It is important for residents and visitors to the area to remain aware of the potential dangers and to follow any evacuation or safety instructions issued by authorities.
Written by IAS POINT