Kilauea: The youngest Hawaiian volcano

Kīlauea is a currently active shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, and the most active of the five volcanoes that together form the island of Hawaiʻi

Located along the southern shore of the island, the volcano is between 300,000 and 600,000 years old and emerged above sea level about 100,000 years ago

It is the second youngest product of the Hawaiian hotspot and the current eruptive center of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain

Structurally, Kīlauea has a large, fairly recently formed caldera at its summit and two active rift zones, one extending 125 km (78 mi) east and the other 35 km (22 mi) west, as an active fault of unknown depth moving vertically an average of 2 to 20 mm (0.1 to 0.8 in) 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

Kīlauea's high state of activity has a major impact on its mountainside ecology, where plant growth is often interrupted by fresh tephra and drifting volcanic sulfur dioxide, producing acid rains particularly in a barren area south of its southwestern rift zone known as the Kaʻū Desert

The oldest exposed lavas date back 2,800 years. The first well-documented eruption of Kīlauea occurred in 182