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Explore Kilauea Volcano






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Nene or Hawaiian Goose

Pahoehoe lava flow




Learn Hawaiian creation legends, history and culture

Pronounce and translate over 250 Hawaiian words

Hear the illustrated story, Lehua - A Legend of Old Hawai`i

Read accounts and view illustrations made by visitors to Kilauea Volcano from 1865 to 1929


Listen to Hawaiian words spoken by Lokelani Kamanu, a Hawaiian language teacher.

Aloha (11k)

Aloha means love, greetings.

Halema`uma`u (20k)

Halema`uma`u crater ("house of the `ama`u fern") is the main vent inside Kilauea Caldera and is 0.6 miles in diameter.

Hawai`i (14k)

The Island of Hawai`i is formed of seven volcanoes. Kilauea, the most active of the Hawai`ian volcanoes, has been erupting nearly continuously since 1983.

Kahuna (11k)

A kahuna is a priest.

Kapalikapuokamohoali`i (32k)

Kapalikapuokamohoali`i is broken down to kapu (taboo), o(of) and kamohoali`i ( chief of the shark gods and the brother of Pele.) This is the name of a cliff near the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Kapu (9k)

Kapu refers to something that is taboo or forbidden.

Kilauea (15k)

The Kilauea ("spewing or much spreading," referring to volcanic eruptions) volcano is the youngest of the volcanoes of Hawai`i, and one of the world's most active. It has a shield shape, a summit caldera containing a pit crater named Halema`uma`u, and east and a southwest rift zones. The volcano has been erupting nearly continuously since 1983. About 90 percent of Kilauea's land surface is less than 1,100 years old.

Lehua (11k)

Lehua is the flower of the ohia tree. It is also the name of a small island beyond Ni`i.

Mahalo (11k)

Mahalo means thank you.

Nene (14k)

Nene or Hawaiian goose is the state bird of Hawai`i. About 250,000 nene existed on the islands when Captain Cook arrived in 1778. By the mid 1940's only 50 birds remained. Captive breeding programs have increased the number of nene to about 600.

Pahoehoe (15k)

Pahoehoe is the Hawaiian word for a common form of lava. Pahoehoe lava is characterized by a smooth, billowy, or ropy surface. A ropy surface develops when a thin skin of cooler lava at the surface of the flow is pushed into folds by the faster moving, fluid lava just below the surface. Pahoehoe flows can evolve into lava tubes. "Pahoehoe" is a Hawaiian word first introduced into geologic literature by Dutton (1884).

Pele (9k)

Pele is the name of the Hawaiian volcano goddess.

Pu`u `o`o (21k)

Pu`u `O`o means hill of the `o`o bird. It is the name of an active cinder cone on the Kilauea Volcano.


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