Latest Kilauea Eruption: Born 1983 – Died 2018?

This August 11, 2018, aerial view of Kīlauea Volcano’s south caldera shows how the summit was changed by
the collapse events that occurred between the end of May and August 2. The bright white
line circles the outline of Halema‘uma‘u as it was before the onset of the 2018 collapses.

Kilauea’s Latest Eruption Began In 1983: Kilauea’s most recent eruption streak started in January 1983. According to the USGS, “Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and the Current Eruption of Kīlauea: The Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō eruption began in 1983, and ranks as the longest and most voluminous known outpouring of lava from Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone in more than 500 years. Lava fountains and flows have profoundly altered the landscape and repeatedly challenged residents with lava inundation.” The eruptions occurred in over 60 episodes, never with a three-month pause.

From the Wall Street Journal – Lava Pours Steadily From Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano

The Destructive Power Of Kilauea Through 2016: By the end of 2016, lava flows had covered 55.6 square miles, erupted about 1.1 mi3 square miles of lava, and had added  443 acres of new land to Kīlauea’s southeastern shore. At least 215 buildings were also destroyed.

Kilauea Has Been Continuously Erupting Since 2008: Kilauea’s summit itself began a nearly continuous eruption in 2008, eventually creating a lava lake that could sometimes be seen from public viewing areas. A new, small crater formed from this collapse, which was also associated with an explosive eruption of blocks that fell around the Halema‘uma‘u Overlook.


The Destructive Power Of Kilauea – 2018: Then came May’s eruption from fissures east of Puu Oo, destroying parts of the Leilani Estates community. By July, slow moving lava had covered more than 12 square miles and destroyed over 700 homes.

Over Two Million Visitors To Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park: This continuous Kīlauea eruption has resulted in over a million visitors per year to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (HVNP). In 2017 National Park Service report shows that 2,016,702 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 2017 spent $166 million in communities near the park. That spending supported over 2,000 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of over $222,000,000.

Kīlauea Volcano — Eruption Lava Flow Timelapse: A USGS video shows a timelapse of the lava flows erupted in Kīlauea’s Lower East Rift Zone between May 16 and June 25, 2018.

Has Kilauea Really Stopped Erupting? While the long-running, lava-flowing eruptive activity that began in 1983 appears to have ended – for now, the real answer is, “Not really.”

As of December 2018, Kilauea hasn’t produced any surface lava for three months. Some geologists believe that the magma chamber is just reloading. When volcanoes stop erupting magma for that long, the next eruption generally will happen in a different spot, marking a new eruptive event, said Tina Neal, the USGS observatory’s scientist in charge. “At its simplest, it just means there is not enough pressure in the system to push magma up and out,” Neal said.

The Big Island is currently estimated to be between 750,000 and 1,000,000 years old. It sits over a geological ‘hot spot’ that has been producing islands for millions of years. Kilauea will erupt again.

1983: Where were you in 1983? Were you in Hawaii? Were you even born yet?

Just for a bit of perspective of how long ago 1983 was…

Top Music Hits of 1983

1 “Every Breath You Take” The Police
2 “Billie Jean” Michael Jackson
3 “Flashdance… What a Feeling” Irene Cara
4 “Down Under” Men at Work
5 “Beat It” Michael Jackson
6 “Total Eclipse of the Heart” Bonnie Tyler
7 “Maneater” Hall & Oates
8 “Baby, Come to Me” Patti Austin and James Ingram
9 “Maniac” Michael Sembello
10 “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” Eurythmics

Other 1983 songs…
“She Works Hard for the Money” Donna Summer
“Let’s Dance” David Bowie
“Electric Avenue” Eddy Grant
“She Blinded Me with Science” Thomas Dolby
“Little Red Corvette” Prince
“Mr. Roboto” Styx
“Sexual Healing” Marvin Gaye
“Stand Back” Stevie Nicks
“Rock the Casbah” The Clash
“How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” Laura Branigan
“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” Michael Jackson
“I’m Still Standing” Elton John
“True” Spandau Ballet
“You Got Lucky” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Top Movies of 1983
1 Return of the Jedi
2 Terms of Endearment
3 Flashdance
4 Trading Places
5 WarGames
6 Octopussy
7 Sudden Impact
8 Staying Alive
9 Mr. Mom

Other 1983 movies
The Outsiders
National Lampoon’s Vacation
Terms of Endearment