The Irwin Family Great Adventure travel blog

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Steam Vents at the world's most active Volcano Kilauea

Standing far from halema'uma u crater

Second day at the crater

Steam a regular sight at the crater

In front of the crater

Seeing steam during our hike into Kileuea Iki crater

Sisley and Ethan on Pahoehoe Lava

Just decending into the crater

Following one of the lava flows







This is for Mrs. Maxwell and Mrs. Gertzbein's class.

We learned so much on this trip to the Volcano National Park. We went to Kilauea Volcano which is on the youngest of the Hawaiian Islands. It is literally a hot spot!! Plumes of magma rise from a hot spot deep within the earth's mantle. After several hundred years it creates a volcano which rises above the sea level and eventually it becomes an island. The volcano continues to grow until the movement of the Pacific Plate (a sheet of the earth's crust) carries the island away. The plate is moving N.W. about 4 inches a year. This is how the chain of Hawaiian Islands were made. But the Big Island is not the last one of the chain. Just S.E. of it, Lo'ihi seamount, an active submarine volcano is rising from the ocean floor. In thousands of years from now it will emerge from the ocean and either become part of the Big Island or form a new Hawaiian island altogether.

Some more cool facts we learned:

Kilauea volcano has been erupting since 1983. Tons of lava flows out of it every day. Because of this, the Big Island is getting bigger and bigger.

There are 2 different kinds of lava. Pahoehoe and A'a. Pahoehoe is hotter and so more fluid. It is smooth looking while A'a is clumpy looking and looks like broken up ashphalt. Both are very light to pick up. When you walk on lava it cracks and sounds hollow underneath you. You can see in our pictures the 2 different kinds.

Another volcano on the island is Moana Loa. It is the most massive mountain on earth. From the sea floor where it starts to the top it is 56 000 ft., which is even higher than Mt. Everest. Both Moana Loa and Moana Kea volcanoes on the island have erupted in recent decades and are not dead just sleeping.

Hawaiians believe that the Goddess of fire, Pele, lives in the crater of Kilauea and when it last erupted droplets of the lava that burst out of it seperated and formed her tears. In one of the pictures you can see we found her tears in the park.

Devastation Trail is an area that used to be rainforest. A recent lava flow in the area wiped out all life. But we were able to find traces of new life in the area. We also dicovered lava tubes. When lava flows, the top of the flow cools first and then hardens. But underneath it still flows. Eventually once the flow dimishes and empties at the end, a hollow tube is left. We were in one of these. It is pitch black in there and unless you have a flashlight you cannot go very deep. Only the entrance way was lit for us.

There is so much more that we learned, but we wanted to share just a few main facts with you.

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