Friday, January 8, 2010

Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii




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In December I went to Hawaii, a place I had wanted to visit since I was a teenager.I had a wonderful time and every part of the trip I am likely to describe as my favorite part. One of the first things we did was take a night boat trip out to see the lava pouring into the ocean, and WOW! what a sight! Land being created in front of our eyes. Occasionally explosions would burst out in random directions into the air. It was like fireworks. It was pretty scary, too, because it was impossible to tell when and in what directions the outburst would occur and I hoped that the boat captain had us at a safe distance.
Hiram put his hand in the water and quickly jerked it back. Comparing it to a sauna he estimated the temperature at 180 degrees. The sea was literally boiling. Small wonder though, as the temperature of the emerging lava is about 2500 degrees.
The steam and the changing paths the lava took to the sea was a magnificent sight and I knew I was witness to a sight few people would ever see.
My dad liked to read about volcanoes, and in a way, I fulfilled his dream when I saw this sight. He always said they were not making any more land, but he was wrong. It will be a long time before it is very usable though.
Boats and I do not get along so well, and I was sick a lot of the time on the lava trip. I think my frequent volcanic releases over the side of the boat may have bothered the other passengers more than they did me.
The Kilauea Volcano was once though to be a satellite of Mauna Loa, but vulcanologists have determined that it is a volcano in its own right with a separate plumbing system from Mauna Loa. It was in almost continuous eruption throughout the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. Since 1952 there have been 34 eruptions. The current eruption began in January 1983 and has continued since. It is the most active volcano in the world.

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