The Pu`u `O`o-Kupaianaha Eruption, 1982-Present

The Pu’u ‘O’o-Kupaianaha eruption began in 1983 and the volcano has been active until the present. The 1983 eruption began with lava fountains building the now-massive cinder and spatter cone on the volcano currently. Major lava flows in 1986, 1990 and 1992 added more mass to the volcano’s broad shields on the East and West sides of the volcano. The 1986 lava flow to the East can be seen below. Lava flowed to form the shield named “Kupaianaha.”




The 1986 lava flows can be seen below overrunning a street on the outskirts of Kapalana village. The village survived until a 1990 lava flow engulfed the majority of the village.


In present day, the lava flow has covered 119.4 square kilometers (46.1 square miles) and has flowed for long distances in several directions. The eruption map as of March 13, 2008 can be seen below.


Click here to see the eruption map in MUCH higher resolution.

Since 1983 the volcano has averaged a spewing of 500,000 square meters of volcanic material per day. The eruption has blocked many roads and destroyed entire developments on its way pressing finally into the ocean on March 13, 2008. The eruption’s path to the ocean crossed Highway 130 on March 6, and forced evacuations of nearby areas. The 2.6-mile road was built as an access route between villages and included the main lava viewing area associated with the park.

Works Cited



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