Mount Kilaue The World 's Largest Active Volcanoes Essay

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Mount Kilauea is one of the world’s largest active volcanoes, yet its effusive eruptions generally pose little threat to residents of Hawaii (Cook, 1982). It is located in the Hawaiian Islands of the United States of America, precisely 19.421° N and 155.287° W (Global Volcanism Program, 2009). Its low, broad shape resembles a warrior`s shield (NASA, 2009). Since January 3, 1983, Mount Kilauea has been continually erupting until this very day. This current eruption is also known as the Puʻu ʻOʻo - Kupaianaha eruption (Fischer, 2009). Kilauea is the youngest major shield volcano now protruding above sea level, and much of its mass is under water. The shield dimensions are 180 km by 75 km, elevated at 1,250 m, or 6,750 m above seafloor. The caldera (a cauldron-like volcanic feature usually formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption) dimensions of the caldera are 3.5 by 5 km, and the depth has exceeded 270 m. (Holcomb, 1990)
Hawaiian History The Hawaiian Islands (which are entirely of volcanic origin) formed in the middle of the Pacific Ocean more than 3,200 km from the nearest plate boundary (USGS, 2009). Hawaii, known as the Big Island because its 4,030 square miles of area is greater than all seven other Hawaiian islands combined, is the world’s largest volcanic island after Iceland (Cook, 1982). Each Hawaiian island is made up of at least one primary volcano, although many islands are combinations of more than one. The Big Island is composed of 5 major…

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