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Hawaii Volcanoes Fissure Eruption of 2011

Hawaii Volcanoes Fissure Eruption

In March 5th, 2011, a stunning volcanic eruption occurred on the island of Hawaii when a nearly mile long fissure erupted with fiery flare, giving the world an up close view of this spectacular natural event. This Hawaii Volcanoes Fissure Eruption was watched intently by scientists and was actually a monumental event in modern times.

Hawaii Volcanoes Fissure Eruption

The eruption was a small scale example of the type of eruption which occurred in Iceland in the late 1700’s, causing tens of thousands of deaths  both on that continent, as well as Europe. Though the Hawaii fissure eruption was small in comparison to the awesome event that rocked Iceland hundreds of years ago, it was none the less an event that amazed onlookers.

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Preceded by months of earthquakes of various magnitudes, the eruption was a change from the typically steady activity of the Big Island volcano, Kilauea. Volcanologists around the world were surprised at this sudden and violent activity, but in the same token, the entire world was also treated to one of natures’ most stunning types of volcanic eruptions.

An adventuresome and otherwise devoted Hawaiian Volcanic Observatory Scientist was actually crazy enough to get the world an up close and in person look at the eruption on video (see below).

Fissure eruptions are caused by lava literally blasting it’s way out of the ground along natural fissures and can obviously cause devastating damage. Kind of like an earthquake fissure that tears apart the ground leaving a huge gash in the earth, only with lava spraying out of it.

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Fortunately, the Hawaii Volcanoes Fissure Eruption of 2011 only produced harmless yet awesome fountains of lava this time around, though scientists warn that the show at Kilauea is far from over.

Hawaii Volcanoes Fissure Eruption

Also see: Hawaii Volcanoes

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photo credit: Konabish ~ Greg Bishop via photopin cc

Hawaii Volcanoes

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Hawaii volcanoes

Some of the most beautiful volcanic displays in the world are created by Hawaii Volcanoes, with lava flows that span vast tracts of land, clearly visible for all to see. Tourists come from around the world to see the renowned volcanic activity of the Hawaiian Islands and witness the lava flows slowly creep across open land, consuming everything in their path.

Volcanoes have forever been a big curiosity for humans. The natural wonder of their illuminating lava has inspired some pretty Cool Notions, like Lava Lamps for instance.

Hawaii volcanoes

Perhaps the most amazing and unique viewing opportunity available on the islands is one that actually takes place on the rocky seaside edges of the island. Created when the lava reaches the ocean, this amazing event is rather unique to the islands, creating spellbinding clouds of steam that are lit by the contrastingly brilliant orange light of the flowing lava after the sun goes down.

This stunning interaction between two of the worlds’ most basic elemental components is made even more spectacular by the realization that observers are actually watching the continued creation of the island.

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Kilauea volcano lava flowing into the ocean

Whether the lava slowly oozes into the ocean, or splashes into it in the fiery, flamboyant style of an eruption, this natural display is truly awesome to behold.

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Hawaii Volcanoes are known as Sheild volcanoes, which produce shield like domes rather than the classic cone shapes produced by other volcanoes. Lava from Sheild volcaones creeps deceptively across the ground, slowly engulfing the existing terrain in flames, while simultaneously creating new layers of rich fertile ground. Because of this, the actual size of the volcano is often underestimated by visitors.

Flare up

Hawaii currently has 3 volcanoes, Maunaloa, which covers half of Hawaii Island, Kilauea, and Loihi, an underwater volcano located of the southern coast of Hawaii which first erupted in 1996. Loihi will eventually rise above the surface of the ocean to create yet another Hawaiian island, but this won’t take place for at least another 250,000 years. In the meantime, visitors can watch in amazement as the Hawaii Volcanoes of Maunaloa and Kilauea produce beautiful, fiery fields of lava.

Hawaii volcanoes

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photo credit: Nathan Van Arsdale via photopin cc
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