Mount Kilauea

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Mount Kilauea is the most famous volcano in Hawaii. It resides in the southeast in Mauna Loa. This volcano has one of the biggest craters of all volcanoes, consisting of 3,646 feet deep. It has an 8 mile circumference and is encompassed entirely by an enormous “wall of volcanic rock 200 to 500 ft high” (Mount Kilauea). “Mount Kilauea is a low and flat shield volcano that rises only 1,247 meters above sea level. Till date, the Kilauea volcano is the most active and the most visited volcano in the world” (Oak, By Manali). Mount Kilauea is the youngest volcano in Hawaii. It has a lava level of 740 ft. under the rim. “Kilauea was formed under a hot spot under the crust. So were the other volcanoes on the Big Island such as Kohala, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai. There have been 34 eruptions since 1952 and 61 eruptions total” (Mount Kilauea). Hawaii has eight volcanoes and for the moment consists of 4,038 square miles. This will not be the case for long though, because thanks to Mount Kilauea, approximately forty-two acres are added each year from the eruptions. Mount Kilauea is only one of the five still-active volcanoes in Hawaii, but it is definitely the most famous. This is due to a variety of reasons but not the least of which is the belief that the Mount Kilauea Volcano is the resting place of the infamous fire goddess Pele.

Pele is a very interesting character in Hawaiian history. There are many stories but one of the most common stories tell of how she was born to a family with six sisters and was exiled for fighting with her elder sister Na-maka-o-Kaha’I and for seducing her husband. Assumed dead by her family she made her way to Hawaii where she dug numerous fire pits, eventually creating the Haleakala Volcano. When she did this her older sister realized that she was still alive and went to kill her. “She succeeded in an epic battle of natural forces. Legend says her bones remain as a hill called Ka-iwi-o-Pele” (Pele). When she died she became a god...
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