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Viewing an erupting volcano is a memorable experience; one that has inspired

fear, superstition, worship, curiosity, and fascination throughout the history of

mankind. The active Hawaiian volcanoes have received special attention

worldwide because of their frequent spectacular eruptions, which can be viewed

and studied with a relative ease and safety. The island of Hawaii is composed of

five volcanoes, three of which have been active within the past two hundred years.

Kilauea's latest eruption still continues as of today. Mauna Loa's latest activity

was in 1984 and Hualalai's in 1800-1801, but is likely to erupt again within the

next one hundred years. East Maui, or Haleakala, one of the oldest volcanoes,

has a long eruptive history and recent activity indicates that the volcano will erupt

in the near future. Last but not least, the Loihi Seamount, sometimes known as

the "youngest volcano" is an undersea mountain this is still active. Scientists now

believe that the hot spots lie in the ocean, deep beneath the volcanoes. These

hot spots spew out of molten rock that rises to the water's surface and hardens.

After doing this for a long time, the hardened lava forms an island, like the

Hawaiian islands (Volcanoes Online).

The Kilauea volcano is one of the most active volcanoes on earth. It's current

eruption started in January 1983, and there is no signs that the current eruption is

slowing or will come to an end anytime soon. The U.S. Geological Observatory

monitors the daily activities of the volcano, for example-movement of lava flows,

earthquakes, surface deformation, and gas production. Kilauea has been

monitored ever since, making it one of the better-studied volcanoes. Still there is

much we don't understand about the inner workings of this volcano. Unlike most

other volcanoes though, Kilauea is approachable. It has been called the "drive up"

volcano because of the ease of access to many of its volcanic activity. On

February 24, 2000, an article came out, which was entitled Breakouts result from

tube blockages. It stated:

The intrusion of magma into the upper east rift zone of Kilauea on February 23

caused minor but noticeable changes in the opening eruption. Lava continued to

enter the tube system at Pu'u'O'o, but blockages in the tube above the pali

resulted in many breakouts on the active flow field. (Hawaii Center for


Kilauea shares the hot spot with its larger active sibling Mauna Loa, and with the

Loihi Seamount.

Mauna Loa or "Long Mountain" is the largest active volcano in the world. In fact it

is one of the tallest mountains in the world. The Mauna Loa and other active

volcanoes on the island have tended to erupt on an average of every two to three

years, placing them among the most frequently active volcanoes in the world.

Mauna Loa like all the volcanoes in Hawaii are called shield volcanoes. This

means it is a gently sloping mountain produced from a large number of generally

very fluid lava flows. The volcano has been erupting for at least one hundred

thousand years, possibly more, from a primary volcanic center at the mountain

summit (The Knowledge Adventure Homepage). Hualailai is the third youngest

and third most historically active volcano on the island of Hawaii. Though Hualalai

is not nearly as active as Mauna Loa or Kilauea, our recent geologic mapping of

the volcano shows that eighty- percent of Hualalai's surface has been covered by

lava flows in the past five thousand years. Hualailai is considered a potentially

dangerous volcano that is likely to erupt again in the next one hundred years.

When asked about the Hawaiian volcanoes, most people imagine the big island

and its eruption at Kilauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes. But East Maui, or Halekala,

has witnessed eruptions in the past ten thousand years. Thus, the volcanoes

long eruptive history and recent activity indicate the East Maui will erupt in the

near future (Hawaii Center for Volcano logy).

Loihi Seamount, sometimes known as the "youngest volcano" in the



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