Global Geological And Climatic Events

Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Volanic eruptions in news

Mains level : Volcanic landforms

Geologists have detected a swarm of earthquakes at Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, though it was not erupting.

Kilauea Volcano

  • Kilauea is about 200 miles south of Honolulu, on the Big Island of Hawaii.
  • It is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, having erupted 34 times since 1952. In Hawaiian tradition, Kilauea is home to the volcano goddess Pele.
  • From 1983 to 2018, it erupted almost continuously, in some cases sending streams of lava that covered farms and homes.
  • At the end of this decades-long eruption, Kilauea spewed lava from vents in a residential neighborhood on its eastern flank and destroyed more than 700 homes.
  • In December, Kilauea erupted at the crater, creating a lake with enough lava to fill 10 Hoover dams. That eruption ended in May.

Do not skip answering this PYQ:

Consider the following statements:

  1. The Barren Island volcano is an active volcano located in the Indian Territory.
  2. Barren Island lies about 140 km east of Great Nicobar.
  3. The last time the Barren Island volcano erupted was in 1991 and it has remained inactive since then.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (CSP 2014)

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1 and 3 only

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Back2Basics: Volcanic Landforms

  • Note the intrinsic and extrinsic types of volcanic landforms

  • A volcano has 3 main characteristics
  1. Cone shaped mountain
  2. Formed by rock or ash thrown from the inside of the earth
  3. At times, opening or depression at top
  • The three main types of volcanos are:

  1. Cinder cone Volcano: The cinder cones are small volcanoes with steep sides. Even though they are small, these are the ones you probably hear about.  They are very explosive and made of ash and rock.  Most of the cinder cones are small and less than 500 meters high.  A famous cinder cone is Sunset Crater Volcano in Arizona.
  2. Shield Volcanoes: A shield is a low and broad volcano that usually has a very wide crater (a dent in the Earth’s surface). It is formed from thin layers of lava after consistent low-grade eruptions.  The largest volcano in the world is a shield volcano.  It is located in Hawaii.
  3. Composite volcanoes: They are the tallest type of volcano. They look very impressive but do usually have quiet and slow lava flows.  They sometimes have small eruptions that cause ash and rock to go flying.  One of the most famous volcanoes in the world is a composite volcano.  It is Mount Fuji in Japan.

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