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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

With the World’s Most Active Volcanoes

 

First established in 1916, the Hawaii national park is an American national park. This is found on the island of Hawaii in the state of Hawaii also; and it is the home to two active volcanoes including the Mauna Loa and the Kilauea volcanoes also. Kilauea is a very active volcano, one of the world’s most active ones and Mauna Loa is the biggest volcano in the world also.

The Hawaii Volcanoes national park is certainly going to be a fantastic gateway for many scientists and history buffs to find out about the history and the birth of the Hawaii Islands. Many use the park as a good study ground to find out about the volcanoes and the volcanic activity of the worlds active and biggest volcanoes also. The endless visitors are going to be able to admire the amazing volcanic landscapes as well as flora and fauna.

The park does have some amazing natural views to admire and it was named an International Biosphere Reserve also. This was done in 1980 and 7 years later, in 1987, the national park was made a World Heritage Site. The park covers almost 323, 000 acres of land; and there are more than half of the actual park that has been designated a Hawaii Volcanoes Wilderness area.

However, the park does offer some amazing camping and hiking options for those who really want to try these out. Though, there is such a diverse environment in the park; this starts from the sea level and reaches to the highest volcano on earth – Mauna Loa which stands at 13,677 feet high! There is a range of climates also, from the lush tropics rain forests, the amazing arid and of course the barren Ka’u Desert.

Since the 2 volcanoes are active, there are active sites around the island also; the main eruption site is the caldera of Kilauea. There is also the Pu’u’O’o vent but this vent can be remote so this isn’t a worrying eruption site unlike Kilauea vent. One of the main entrances to the park is the Hawaii Belt Road and there is also the Chain of Craters Road; and this road will lead past many craters which have occurred from historic eruptions. Kalapana town is mostly covered by lava flow.

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Hawaii lava tourists

The History of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Many years ago, it was thought that the goddess Pele, which is the goddess for volcanoes, lived in the Kilauea region volcano. It was thought that the local villagers of Hawaii visited the crater in order to give gifts to Pele the goddess. However in 1790, there was a party who went to the area; there were mostly warriors but a few women and children also went to the area. The group was caught up in a very violent eruption; this was very unusual at the time and many of the group was killed. Those who survived left footprints in the lava which still can be seen today; and it is a very popular site for many visitors to view.

William Ellis was the first western visitor to head to the site, he was British and he was accompanied by the American, Asa Thurston. They went to the area in 1823 and William Ellis spoke of how amazing and spectacular the land was to see. He wrote very highly of the volcanoes and since 1840, the volcanoes have both become a major tourist attraction.

At the rim of the volcanoes, hotels were run by George Lycurgus and Benjamin Pitman; and Volcano House remains the only restaurant and hotel located at the park, within the borders of the park also. In 2010 in the month of January, the hotel was closed. This was for renovations that were scheduled to be done at the hotel.

After Lorrin A Thurston (the grandson of missionary Asa Thurston) invested in the hotel from 1891 through to 1904, and was the driving force behind getting the park established as a national park. He owned the Honolulu Newspaper and printed articles about having a park established. Then in 1907, fifty members of Congress were paid to visit Kilauea; the visit included their wives and it included a dinner that was cooked over lava steam vents. However, it wasn’t until 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson on the 1st of August signed a bill that finally passed to help create the park.

At the time, Hawaii Volcanoes become the 11th National Park in America. It was the first park to be in a Territory area also. Only weeks later was the National Park Service created and they were going to run the services required in the park also.

Historical Places and Attractions to Visit

The Ainahou Ranch

The 1790 Footprints

Kilauea Crater

Ainapo Trail

Wilkes Campsite

Volcano House

Puna-Ka’u Historic District

Whitney Seismograph Vault No. 29

Hawaii National Parks Facts and information
Lava cooling

There are many amazing attractions to visit including the visitor centre. There is also the main visitor centre which offers a lot of information about the park and the endless features in the park also. The Volcano Art Centre is a great location to visit which is found in the original Volcano House hotel of 1877 and the art centre is on the National Register of Historic Places.

There is also the great Thomas A Jagger Museum which is found just west of Crater Rim Drive; and offers a great up close view of the active vent on Kilauea of Halema’uma’u. Though the American military personnel uses the Kilauea Military Camp for accommodations also.

Recent Eruptions

There was a very small explosion in the crater of Halema’uma’u; and this was on the 19th of March in 2008. This was the first eruption since 1924; and the debris covered a huge area of almost 74 acres. A very small amount of ash was seen at a local community. However, there was no lava flow from this explosion. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is an unpredictable destination to visit.

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Famous Volcanoes

 

Volcanoes are one of the most awesome natural events that the world can ever see, and they are also among the most dangerous. Currently there are approximately 1500 active volcanoes in the world but an active volcano can be described as one that has had an eruption at least within the last ten thousand years. There are many volcanoes that have been dormant for a lot longer than that and yet they could be some of the most dangerous if they were ever to explode. There are volcanoes in most of the world and some you would not be able to see even if you were standing on them even though they are some of the most famous volcanoes. Some areas are more active than others, but the most famous one is the Pacific Ring of Fire.

The Ring Of Fire

The Pacific Ring of Fire is the area in the Pacific Ocean, which has the most active volcanoes in the world. By the latest calculations over 75% of the active volcanoes in the world are located here. Because of that, you will find some of the world’s most famous volcanoes in that area. The area extends from the Chilean coast in South America to Alaska, to the East Coast of the Asian continent, down to Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. There are a total of 452 known volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire which is also known for the severity of its earthquakes.

Most Famous Volcanoes In The Ring Of Fire

Because of the amount of volcano activity in the Ring of Fire, some of the world’s most famous volcanoes can be found here. Some of the names you may recognize right away are Mount Saint Helens in Washington State, Kilauea in Hawaii, Mount Yasur in Vanuatu, Santa Maria in Guatemala, and Sangay in Ecuador all of which are still very much active. Another couple of recognizable names in the Ring of Fire are Mount Fuji in Japan, and Mauna Loa in Hawaii.

World’s Most Active Volcanoes

One thing that is important to note is that most of the famous volcanoes are also the most active in the world. Kilauea in Japan is one of the world’s most active volcano at the moment with its last spew of lava happened in 2011. The Nyamuragira volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the most active volcano in Africa and it has erupted at the very least 34 times since 1882. Mount Etna, which was believed by ancient Romans to be the home of the god of fire Vulcan has a continuous history of eruptions that dates back over 3500 years. Piton de la Fournaise or Le Volcan as it is known to locals at Reunion Island has seen over 150 eruptions since the records show it in the 17th century.

What Happens When A Volcano Erupts

To understand famous volcanoes and even volcanoes in general it is important to understand eruptions. Before an eruption takes place there is a lot of commotion beneath the surface which involves melted rock. The substance that is created during that commotion is what is later spilled while the eruption takes place. The name of the molten lava that will flow down the side of a volcano is what is known as magma, but before the magma is expelled out it needs to rise and that is created by disturbances of low and high pressures.

The eruption does not have to be the big explosion that people associate with famous volcanoes. There are mild eruptions, which only cause steam blasts. Others are still considered mild but will have lava run down de side of the volcano and ejected ash or rock fragments. There are however more dangerous and stronger eruptions which can cause a lot of damage to the surrounding area. A Vulcanian explosion will contain solidified rock, which will produce a pyroclastic flow.

Volcanoes With The Potential Of Being The Deadliest

Some of the world’s most famous volcanoes have destroyed entire cities and killed everyone in the nearby area. Mount Vesuvius for example destroyed the entire city of Pompey and archeological records show the devastation it caused. There are some volcanoes that could cause the same type of damage to cities today with the difference that the population around those volcanoes is even larger than that of ancient Pompeii.

The city of Kagoshima in Japan has 680,000 people and the Sakurajima volcano located nearby has been experiencing small explosions since 1955. Catania near Mount Etna has 300,000 people in the area, which has seen the dangers of Mount Etna when an eruption destroyed some of its structures in the 1600’s. The 450,000 people in Pasto Colombia have been on guard due to the Galeras Volcano nearby. In 2005 then were forced to wear goggles and facemasks because of an explosion. Seattle’s population of 608,000 live in that shadows of Mount Rainier and though the volcano is quiet for now, its past history is anything but. Finally, close to a million people live in Naples, Italy. Their biggest and scariest neighbor is Mount Vesuvius, which has destroyed an entire city and the surrounding areas in the past. These are just some of the famous volcanoes near people, but there are a lot more.

Super Volcanoes

If the most famous volcanoes listed before were to erupt, they could cause a lot of destruction, but that destruction would be nowhere near to what would happen if a super volcano were to erupt. There are several of these volcanoes and they have caused severe destruction in the past. Their eruptions are measured using the Volcano Eruption index or VEI. The most severe eruptions are those that reach the VEI8 classification and there have been 10 of those eruptions in recorded history, 5 of which were in the US.

What Would Happen If A Super Volcano Erupted Today?

If a super volcano like the one found at Yellowstone Park in the US were to erupt today it would instantly be a famous volcano, but there would not be as many people to tell the story. The last time that the Yellowstone volcano erupted was 640,000 years ago and it is believed that it was the main cause of the latest ice age. If an eruption of that magnitude were to happen today the people nearby would stand no chance as they would be hit by 500 degree lava. Even if the lava does not reach you the ash would and that would cause you to choke to death as you inhale it.

People in other parts of the world would not get away unharmed because the global temperatures would drop by a minimum of 21 degrees. That would cause plant life and animal life to die off, leaving the people in the rest of the world without food and very cold. In other words, the great majority of people would starve.

The problem is that some scientists believe that the volcano at Yellowstone Park erupts once every 600,000 years, and if that is the case then we are overdue. No one knows when one of these famous volcanoes will erupt, but when they do it will be a spectacle that could end life as we know it.

 

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