One of the most active volcanoes on the planet, KlaueaKilaueane of the five volcanoes that make up the island of Hawai’i. KlaueaKilaueaed on May 3, 2018, just a few hours after a magnitude 5.0 earthquake rocked the island of Hawai’i.
According to estimates from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the eruption has so far impacted more than 600 dwellings and 2,000 acres of land.
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Emergence of Kilauea
Due to the Hawaiian volcano chain’s unique placement in the center of the Pacific plate—most volcanoes are found on tectonic boundaries—two ideas have been proposed to explain how it formed.
The hotspot idea, advanced by Canadian geophysicist John Tuzo-Wilson, is one of the hypotheses.
According to his theory, the passage of a tectonic plate over a fixed point of intense heat in the Earth’s mantle caused volcanic island chains like Hawai’i to arise.
Geologists from Purdue University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology proposed the alternate idea in 2011. Their research centered on charting the Earth’s crust’s rock strata.
The researchers found a pancake-shaped layer of highly heated rock far above the mantle. The temperature was more than 500 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than the typical temperature range at that depth. This shows that hotspots might not always be in the same place or as deep as thought.
Volcano Kilauea’s Eruption
According to geologists, the volcano is thought to be between 300,000 and 600,000 years old, and for most of that period, it has been active.
Long before the advent of the Europeans, the native Hawaiians recorded the volcano’s eruption in their oral histories. The oldest written records date back to 1794, and the first fully documented eruption was in 1823.
There have been 61 distinct eruptions since 1823, with the amount of lava released significantly varied. The duration of the outbreaks might range from a few days to several years.
On May 24, 1969, one of the most prolonged documented eruptions started, lasting 867 days until October 8, 1971. Between 1934 to 1952, Kilauea did not erupt, but in 1952 there was a significant eruption that sent 800 feet of lava into the air.
Following the 136-day-long discharge in 1952, there were eruptions in 1954 for three days, in 1955 for 88 days, and in 1959 for 36 days. An explosion in 1960 covered a sizable portion of the agricultural area and Kapoho town.
There was a 251-day eruption in 1967. Kilauea’s most recent outbreak, which started on January 3, 1983, is still running strong, making it the longest eruption ever documented.
The Effects Of The Eruptions
The ongoing volcanic eruption has caused extensive property damage, with entire settlements submerging in lava.
According to studies and research from the University Orvis School of Nursing, breathing in the harmful gases emitted during the eruption can lead to severe headaches and respiratory issues.
Environment In Hawaii
One of the most remote land masses on Earth, the island of Hawai’i is situated around 2,000 miles from the nearest land mass. On its ecological, this seclusion has had the most effect. Most of the island’s species are endemic, meaning they cannot be found anywhere on Earth.
Because of their privacy, the island’s species have been able to evolve without interference from biotic forces outside of their control.
As a result of this growth, the island’s environment is now highly fragile and susceptible to further development by humans and other invading species. Some of the island’s vegetation and animals are considered extinct.