Hilo, Island of Hawaii

Tour Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Monday, October 9th 2000

We were on a tour to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This is our bus, driver/tour guide, and a representative of the ship, ms Statendam. They give the Hawaiian hand sign meaning hang loose. Our driver said he was like most Hawaiians, that is, he was of mixed ancestry—Hawaiian, Chinese, and Portugese.

This picture was taken from behind the Volcano House Hotel looking out on the Kilauea Caldera. Just visible near the horizon is the Halema'uma'u Crater. This is one of many craters of the Kilauea Volcano.

Mauna Loa gradually rises to the right in pale blue tones.

This picture and text appears on an informative display outside the Volcano House:
A caldera has likely existed at Kilauea's summit for as long as has the volcano. Collapse occurred repeatedly as magma swelled the summit area and then drained rapidly through the flanking rift zones. Large fault blocks have formed here and at Uwekahuma Bluff as repeated collapse steepened the caldera walls.

Since the last major collapse, repeated overflows of Halemaumau and eruptions from the caldera floor have partially refilled the basin. Early Western explorers described a much different scene, with cliffs 900 feet high. Today cliffs rise half that height. indicating the pace of caldera filling during historic time.

This view of the caldera and crater was taken from the Jaggar Museum on the northwest side of the caldera.

Page last updated November 7, 2000.