Most Recent Eruption:
Continuous since January 3rd, 1983.
Number of Historical Eruptions:
61 not counting the continuous lava-lake activity in Halema`uma`u crater to the present day.
Volcano's Summit Caldera:
The caldera itself has no Hawaiian name other than Kilauea but houses the famous crater, Halema`uma`u; "hale" (meaning house), "ma`uma`u" (a type of fern). Kamapua`a, (jilted suitor of Pele), is said to have built a house of ferns over Halema`uma`u to keep Pele from escaping her home and causing eruptions. This evidently has not been effective.
6 x 6 km (outermost faults), 3 x 5 km (main depression)
165 m deep
probably several incremental collapses 500-210 years ago.
Oldest Dated Volcanic Rocks:
23,000 years old.
Estimated Age of Earliest Volcanic Eruptions:
Estimated Age of First Volcanic Eruption of Kilauea Volcano:
300,000-600,000 years before present.
About Hawaiian Volcanoes:
The Hawaiian Islands are located at the southeast end of a chain of volcanoes that are thought to have formed some 70 million years ago. Each Hawaiian island is made of one or more volcanoes which first erupted on the floor of the ocean and emerged above the ocean's surface to form each island after countless eruptions.
The largest and most southeastern island of the Hawaiian island chain, the Big Island of Hawaii, consists of five volcanoes. They are:
Kilauea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai which have erupted in the past 200 years and Loihi, the youngest volcano in the Hawaiian Volcanic Island Chain. The East Maui Volcano, known as Haleakala, is located on the island of Maui and is the only other Hawaiian volcano known to have erupted in the past 200 years.