Tag Archives: cindercones

Pu’u o’o’

Big Island

Pu’u o’o

is a cindercone / spatter cone on the East Rift Zone of Kilauea in the Hawaiian Island of Big Island. It has been erupting continuously since January 3, 1983 making it the longest living rift zone eruption for the last two centuries. It has expanded over 37 square miles from 1983-1998 eruptions. Its name of “Hill of the ‘O’o Bird” or “digging stick” is Pu’u o’o’ in Hawaiian. It omes from the Hawaiian legend that Pele used her magic rod paoa to create volcanic pits and was named as such by volcanologists assigning letters to vents in the area. The 1998 eruption claimed over 180 houses including a church, a store, the Waha’ula Visitor Center, and many ancient Hawaiian sites including Waha’ula heiau. Its coastal highway closed since 1987 as lava flows covered 8 miles to a depth of 80 ft adding over 544 acres to Hawaii. 1990 flow destroyed the villages of Kalapana and Kaimu including Kaimu Bay and Kalapana Black Sand Beach. This one destroyed over 100 homes. As of this writing this one is now in its 25th year and the 57th eruptive episode.

Big Island