Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii -
Reports coming from our tour guides on the Big Island of Hawaii are that the summit of the Kilauea volcano crater has been glowing every night for the past few days. This provides a great opportunity for anyone interested in viewing an active volcano while visiting Hawaii since this is the brightest glow since October 2008.
The glow is created by molten lava pooling 300 feet below the the crater floor and flowing along the vents. The lava eventually makes its way to the Pacific Ocean, over 4,000 feet below the crater, and can be seen steaming as molten lava meets cool water:
The spectacular shows over the past few nights confirm geologists suspicions that the lava is close to the Earth’s surface, which means that there could be a fountaining event at Kilauea crater in the near future. But there is no definitive way to tell. The recent changes in the glow and increased lava flow do not increase the risks to any visitors to Kilauea, but the national park staff is keeping the overlook areas open later so guests can take in the scenery later into the evening. And snap some awesome pictures:
The current Kilauea eruption began on January 1983, and continues to produce lava flows that travel down the mountain side through a network of tubes, which eventually empty into the ocean. This eruption has covered over 117 km² of land and has built out over 2 km² of new land into the ocean, destroying about 200 homes and structures in the process.
In 1990 lava flow from Kilauea destroyed the towns of Kalapana, Kaimu, Kaimu Bay, Kalapana Black Sand Beach, and a large section of Hawaii State Route 130, which now abruptly dead-ends at the dried up lava flow. During our Big Island Volcano tour you can actually see old roads covered in lava rock. The 1983-to-present eruption is the largest historically known for Kīlauea.
Hawaiian Legend of Kilauea
Kilauea is considered to be the home of Madame Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of ancient volcano legend. Several lava formations are named after Pele such as, Madame Pele’s Tears (small droplets of lava that cool in the air and retain their teardrop shapes) and Madame Pele’s Hair (thin strands of volcanic glass that form during the explosions) In Hawaiian mythology, Kilauea is where most of the conflict between Madame Pele and the rain god Kamapua’a took place.