Viewing an erupting volcano is a memorable experience; one that has inspired fear, superstition, worship, curiosity, and fascination throughout the history of mankind. The active Hawaiian volcanoes have received special attention worldwide because of their frequent spectacular eruptions, which can be viewed and studied with a relative ease and safety. .
The island of Hawaii is composed of five volcanoes, three of which have been active within the past two hundred years. Kilauea's latest eruption still continues as of today. Mauna Loa's latest activity was in 1984 and Hualalai's in 1800-1801, but is likely to erupt again within the next one hundred years. East Maui, or Haleakala, one of the oldest volcanoes, has a long eruptive history and recent activity indicates that the volcano will erupt in the near future. Last but not least, the Loihi Seamount, sometimes known as theyoungest volcano? is an undersea mountain this is still active. .
Scientists now believe that the hot spots lie in the ocean, deep beneath the volcanoes. These hot spots spew out of molten rock that rises to the water's surface and hardens. After doing this for a long time, the hardened lava forms an island, like the Hawaiian Islands. The Kilauea volcano is one of the most active volcanoes on earth. It's current eruption started in January 1983, and there is no signs that the current eruption is slowing or will come to an end anytime soon. .
The U.S. Geological Observatory monitors the daily activities of the volcano, for example-movement of lava flows, earthquakes, surface deformation, and gas production. Kilauea has been monitored ever since, making it one of the better-studied volcanoes. Still there is much we don't understand about the inner workings of this volcano. Unlike most other volcanoes though, Kilauea is approachable. It has been called thedrive up? volcano because of the ease of access to many of its volcanic activity.