What's New at Kilauea Volcano?

Ka'u Desert - July 1999

We have often been to the summit of Kilauea volcano, since this is a great place to take students interested in study a diverse range of volcanic landforms. Lots of tourists also visit this area. But equally interesting is the area just to the south, in the Ka'u Desert.

In other parts of Virtually Hawaii, we have shown the December 1974 flow, but on our latest helicopter flight we went down the other side of the Ka'u, to look first at the Mauna Iki cone and then the Great Crack. Mauna Iki erupted in 1919 and 1920, and there was an additional small eruption there in 1971. The Lava flows from the Great Crack date from 1823, but it is not clear that all of the crack actually formed at that time, since some of the feature may already have existed prior to the eruption.

Also in the southern Ka'u we came across an interesting set of cinder cones that had been in the path of the lava flow from the 1823 eruption. It is interesting to see how the lava flow around and, in some case, over these cones.


See the next part of the July '99 flight here!