Definitions for kilaueaˌki laʊˈeɪ ɑ, -ˈeɪ ə, ˌkɪl oʊ-
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Random House Webster's College Dictionary
Ki•lau•e•aˌki laʊˈeɪ ɑ, -ˈeɪ ə, ˌkɪl oʊ-(n.)
an active volcanic crater on the E slope of Mauna Loa on the island of Hawaii. 4090 ft. (1247 m).
Category: Geography (places)
Kīlauea is a shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, the most active of the five volcanoes that together form the island of Hawaiʻi. Located along the southern shore of the island, the volcano, at 300,000 to 600,000 years old, is the second youngest product of the Hawaiian hotspot and the current eruptive center of the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain. Because it lacks topographic prominence and its activities historically coincided with those of Mauna Loa, Kīlauea was once thought to be a satellite of its much larger neighbor. Structurally, Kīlauea has a large, fairly recently formed caldera at its summit and two active rift zones, one extending 125 km east and the other 35 km west, as an active fault line of unknown depth moving vertically an average of 2 to 20 mm per year. Kīlauea's eruptive history has been a long and active one; its name means "spewing" or "much spreading" in the Hawaiian language, referring to its frequent outpouring of lava. The earliest lavas from the volcano date back to its submarine preshield stage, and have been recovered by ROVs from its submerged slopes; other flows have been recovered through core samples. Lavas younger than 1,000 years cover 90 percent of the volcano; the oldest exposed lavas date back 2,800 and 2,100 years. The first well-documented eruption of Kīlauea occurred in 1823, and since that time the volcano has erupted repeatedly. Most historical eruptions have occurred at the volcano's summit or its southwestern rift zone, and are prolonged and effusive in character; however, the geological record shows that violent explosive activity predating European contact was extremely common, and should explosive activity start anew the volcano would become much more dangerous to civilians. Kīlauea's current eruption dates back to January 3, 1983, and is by far its longest-lived historical period of activity, as well as one of the longest-lived eruptions in the world; as of January 2011, the eruption has produced 3.5 cubic kilometres of lava and resurfaced 123.2 km² of land.
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