Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, established on August 1, 1916, is an American national park located in the U.S. state of Hawaii on the island of Hawaii. The park encompasses two active volcanoes: Kīlauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world's most massive shield volcano. The park provides scientists with insight into the birth and development of the Hawaiian Islands, and ongoing studies into the processes of volcanism. For visitors, the park offers dramatic volcanic landscapes, as well as glimpses of rare flora and fauna.
In recognition of its outstanding natural values, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park was designated as an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980 and a World Heritage Site in 1987. In 2012, the park was depicted on the 14th quarter of the America the Beautiful Quarters series.
On May 11, 2018, the park was closed to the public in the Kīlauea volcano summit area, including the visitor center and park headquarters, due to explosions and toxic ash clouds from Halemaʻumaʻu, as well as earthquakes and road damage. Portions of the park, including the visitor center, reopened to the public on September 22, 2018. As of 2019, most of the park is open; however, some road segments and trails, the Thurston Lava Tube, and the Jaggar Museum of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory remain closed to visitors.
Eruptive activity, ground collapses and explosions in the park ceased in early August of 2018, and the lull in eruptive activity at Kīlauea continues.
|Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park|
|Location||Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States|
|Area||323,431 acres (1,308.88 km2)|
|Established||August 1, 1916|
|Visitors||1,116,891 (in 2018)|
|Governing body||National Park Service|
|Inscription||1987 (11th Session)|
The park includes 323,431 acres (505.36 sq mi; 1,308.88 km2) of land. Over half of the park (130,790 acres (529 km2)) was designated the Hawaii Volcanoes Wilderness area in 1978, providing solitude for hiking and camping. Wilderness designation covers the northwestern extension of the National Park, including Mokuaweoweo, the summit of the volcano Mauna Loa. In the southwestern portion of the park, a large chunk of wilderness includes several miles of coastline and a small portion southeast of the visitors center. The park encompasses diverse environments from sea level to the summit of the Earth's most massive active volcano, Mauna Loa, at 13,679 feet (4,169 m). Climates range from lush tropical rain forests, to the arid and barren Kaʻū Desert.
The main entrance to the park is from the Hawaii Belt Road. The Chain of Craters Road leads to the coast, passing several craters from historic eruptions. The road had continued to another park entrance near the town of Kalapana, but that portion is covered by a lava flow.
In 1790, a party of warriors, along with women and children who were in the area, were caught in an unusually violent eruption. Many were killed and others left footprints in the lava that are still visible.
A spectacle, sublime and even appalling, presented itself before us. 'We stopped and trembled.' Astonishment and awe for some moments rendered us mute, and, like statues, we stood fixed to the spot, with our eyes riveted on the abyss below.
The volcano became a tourist attraction in the 1840s, and local businessmen such as Benjamin Pitman and George Lycurgus ran a series of hotels at the rim. Volcano House is the only hotel or restaurant located within the borders of the national park.
Lorrin A. Thurston, grandson of the American missionary Asa Thurston, was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the park after investing in the hotel from 1891 to 1904. William R. Castle first proposed the idea in 1903. Thurston, who then owned The Honolulu Advertiser newspaper, printed editorials in favor of the park idea. In 1907, the territory of Hawaii paid for fifty members of Congress and their wives to visit Haleakalā and Kīlauea, including a dinner cooked over lava steam vents. In 1908, Thurston entertained Secretary of the Interior James Rudolph Garfield, and another congressional delegation the following year. Governor Walter F. Frear proposed a draft bill in 1911 to create Kilauea National Park for $50,000. Thurston and local landowner William Herbert Shipman proposed boundaries, but ran into some opposition from ranchers. Thurston printed endorsements from John Muir, Henry Cabot Lodge, and former President Theodore Roosevelt. After several attempts, the legislation introduced by delegate Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole finally passed to create the park. House Resolution 9525 was signed by Woodrow Wilson on August 1, 1916. Hawaii National Park became the eleventh national park in the United States, and the first in a territory.
Within a few weeks, the National Park Service Organic Act created the National Park Service to run the system. The park was officially renamed Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park after being split from Haleakalā National Park on September 22, 1961.
An easily accessible lava tube was named for the Thurston family. An undeveloped stretch of the Thurston Lava Tube extends an additional 1,100 ft (340 m) beyond the developed area and dead-ends into the hillside, but it is closed to the general public.
In 2004, an additional 115,788 acres (468.58 km2) of the Kahuku Ranch were added to the park, the largest land acquisition in Hawaii's history. The park was enlarged by 56% with the newly acquired land, which is west of the town of Waiʻōhinu and east of Ocean View. The land was purchased for $21.9 million from the estate of Samuel Mills Damon, with financing from The Nature Conservancy.
Several of the National Register of Historic Places listings on the island of Hawaii are located within the park:
The main visitor center, located just within the park entrance at Volcano Art Center, located in the original 1877 Volcano House hotel, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and houses historical displays and an art gallery., includes displays and information about the features of the park. The nearby
The Thomas A. Jaggar Museum, now closed due to damage from the 2018 eruptive events, is located a few miles west on Crater Rim Drive. The museum featured more exhibits and a close view of Kīlauea's active vent Halemaʻumaʻu. The museum is named after scientist Thomas Jaggar, the first director of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, which adjoins the museum. The observatory itself is operated by the U.S. Geological Survey and is not open to the public.
About 1929, D. Howard Hitchcock made an oil painting of Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes. In 1966, the artist's son, Harvey, donated the painting to the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, where it was displayed in the visitor center from 1966 to 2005. The painting was criticized for portraying the Hawaiian goddess as a Caucasian.
In 2003, the Volcano Art Center announced a competition for a "more modern and culturally authentic rendering" of the goddess. An anonymous judging panel of Native Hawaiian elders selected a painting by Arthur Johnsen of Puna, Hawaii from 140 entries. In Johnsen's painting, the goddess has distinctly Polynesian features. She is holding a digging stick (ʻōʻō) in her left hand and the egg that gave birth to her younger sister Hiʻiaka in her right hand. In 2005, the Hitchcock was replaced with Johnsen's painting.
On March 19, 2008, there was a small explosion in Halemaʻumaʻu, the first explosive event since 1924 and the first eruption in the Kīlauea caldera since September 1982. Debris from the explosion was scattered over an area of 74 acres (300,000 m2). A small amount of ash was also reported at a nearby community. The explosion covered part of Crater Rim Drive and damaged Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook. The explosion did not release any lava, which suggests to scientists that it was driven by hydrothermal or gas sources.
This explosion event followed the opening of a major sulfur dioxide gas vent, greatly increasing levels emitted from Halemaʻumaʻu. The dangerous increase of sulfur dioxide gas prompted closures of Crater Rim Drive between the Jaggar Museum south/southeast to Chain of Craters Road, Crater Rim Trail from Kīlauea Military Camp south/southeast to Chain of Craters Road, and all trails leading to Halemaʻumaʻu, including those from Byron Ledge, ʻIliahi (Sandalwood) Trail, and Kaʻū Desert Trail.
In mid-May 2018, the park was closed due to explosive eruptions at Halemaʻumaʻu. As of May 31, the Kīlauea area of the park had remained closed, making the closure the longest in the park's history. Portions of the park, including the visitor center, reopened to the public on September 22, 2018. As of 2019, most of the park is open; however, some road segments and trails, the Thurston Lava Tube, and the Jaggar Museum of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory remain closed to visitors.
Eruptive activity, ground collapses and explosions in the park ceased in early August, and the lull in eruptive activity at Kīlauea continues. At the summit, seismicity and deformation are negligible. Sulfur dioxide emission rates at both the summit and the Lower East Rift Zone are drastically reduced; the combined rate is lower than at any time since late 2007. Earthquake and deformation data show no net accumulation, withdrawal, or significant movement of subsurface magma or pressurization as would be expected if the system was building toward a resumption of activity.
Media related to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park at Wikimedia Commons (image gallery)
The 1790 Footprints refer to a set of footprints found near the Kīlauea volcano in present-day Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawaiʻi. Resulting from an unusually explosive eruption, they may be associated with a series of battles in the area in 1790.Ainapo Trail
The Ainapo Trail was the primary route to the summit of Mauna Loa from prehistory to 1916. The trail began on the southeast flank at 2000 feet of elevation and reached Mokuaweoweo, the summit crater, at 13,200 feet (4,000 m). It was sometimes called Menzies Trail after Archibald Menzies who was the first recorded outsider to climb the mountain in 1794.
The Ainapo Trail was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 30, 1974.Arthur Johnsen
Arthur Johnsen (August 27, 1952 – November 15, 2015) was an American artist. Born and raised on Oahu and living most of his post-university life on the Big Island of Hawaii, he is known for his impressionistic paintings and murals of Hawaiiana.
He is best-known internationally for his 2003 painting of the volcano goddess Pele, which was chosen from more than 140 entries to represent the goddess at the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, and is on display at the main visitor center there. He is also known for his Hawaiian landscape paintings, including those of the rural tree-lined coastal Red Road in Lower Puna.Chain of Craters Road
Chain of Craters Road is a 19-mile (31 km) long winding paved road through the East Rift and coastal area of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawaii, in the state of Hawaii, United States. The original road, built in 1928, connected Crater Rim Drive to Makaopuhi Crater. The road was lengthened to reach the tiny town of Kalapana in 1959. As of 2018, the road has had parts covered by lava in 41 of the past 53 years, due to eruptions of Kīlauea volcano.Devastation Trail
Devastation Trail is a trail in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The paved trail allows visitors to explore the site of 1959 eruption of Kīlauea Iki crater.George Lycurgus
George Lycurgus (Greek: Γεώργιος Λυκοῦργος) (1858–1960) was a Greek American businessman who played an influential role in the early tourist industry of Hawaii. He ran afoul of the government of the Republic of Hawaii and was accused of treason. Later he was instrumental in the development of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.Halemaʻumaʻu
Halemaʻumaʻu (six syllables: HAH-lay-MAH-oo-MAH-oo) is a pit crater within the much larger summit caldera of Kīlauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The roughly circular crater was 770 meters (2,530 ft) x 900 m (2,950 ft) before collapses that roughly doubled the size of the crater after May 3, 2018.
Halemaʻumaʻu is home to Pele, goddess of fire and volcanoes, according to the traditions of Hawaiian religion. Halemaʻumaʻu means "house of the ʻāmaʻu fern".
Halemaʻumaʻu contained an active lava lake for much of the time before 1924, and was the site of several eruptions during the 20th century. The crater again contained an active lava lake between 2008 and 2018, usually fluctuating between 20 to 150 meters below Halemaʻumaʻu's crater floor, though at times the lava lake rose high enough to spill onto crater floor.
As new volcanic vents opened in lower Puna in May 2018, the level of the lava lake began to drop in early May 2018, eventually to the point where the lava lake was no longer visible. The subsidence of the lava lake was accompanied by a period of explosions, earthquakes, large clouds of ash and toxic gas, and finally a gradual collapse of the summit caldera around Halemaʻumaʻu, resulting in the closure of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park from May 10 to September 22, 2018. The collapse events ceased abruptly on August 2, 2018.
For the first time in recorded history, a water pond appeared in Halemaʻumaʻu in the summer of 2019. The greenish pond has deepened and enlarged since first being observed.Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) is a volcano observatory located at Uwekahuna Bluff on the rim of Kīlauea Caldera on the Island of Hawaiʻi. The observatory monitored four active Hawaiian volcanoes: Kīlauea, Mauna Loa, Hualālai, and Haleakalā. Because Kīlauea and Mauna Loa are significantly more active than Hualālai and Haleakalā, much of the observatory's research is concentrated on the former two mountains.
The observatory has a worldwide reputation as a leader in the study of active volcanism. Due to the relatively non-explosive nature of Hawaiian volcanic eruptions for many years, scientists could study ongoing eruptions in proximity without being in extreme danger. Located at the main site was the public Thomas A. Jaggar Museum.
In May 2018 the facility was closed and the property evacuated due to collapse explosions at Halemaʻumaʻu and earthquakes related to the 2018 lower Puna eruption that also led to the closure of the Kīlauea unit of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. While portions of the park were reopened in September, it is unclear when the Observatory and Museum will be able to reopen as well.Holei Sea Arch
Hōlei Sea Arch is a 90-foot (27-meter)-high natural arch located in Hawaii, on the southern coast of the Big Island, south of Kīlauea. This rock formation was born from marine erosion, in which the waves of the Pacific Ocean create this natural bridge of lava cliffs. The arch is made of basalt. It takes its name from the Hōlei Pali, the escarpment located up on the slopes of the volcano.
Located in the Ka'ū District of Hawaii County and in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, it is at the end of the Chain of Craters Road, cut short by the lava flows emitted by Puu Oo Crater since 1983. It thus constitutes a tourist attraction of the national park.Kaʻū Desert
The Kaʻū Desert is a leeward desert in the district of Kaʻū, the southernmost district on the Big Island of Hawaii, and is made up mostly of dried lava remnants, volcanic ash, sand and gravel. The desert covers an area of the Kīlauea Volcano along the Southwest rift zone. The area lacks any vegetation, mainly due to acid rainfall.Kilauea Military Camp
Kīlauea Military Camp (KMC) is operated as a Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) facility on Hawai‘i Island, also known as the Big Island, in Hawaiʻi. It is located inside Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. This United States Department of Defense (DOD) facility is at an elevation of 4,000 feet, within walking distance from Kilauea Volcano, the world’s most active volcano.
KMC vacation resort serves U.S. soldiers (active, Reserve, and Guard), DOD employees, and their family members with lodging, dining, tours, entertainment, and recreation. Once a working military post, the one, two, and three bedroom cottages and apartments have been converted to resort lodging and offer amenities such as jetted tubs, kitchens, fireplaces, and cable TV.Kīlauea
Kīlauea (, US: ; Hawaiian: [kiːlɐwˈwɛjə]) is an active shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands that last erupted between 1983 and 2018. Historically, Kīlauea is the most active of the five volcanoes that together form the island of Hawaiʻi. Located along the southerneastern shore of the island, the volcano is between 210,000 and 280,000 years old and emerged above sea level about 100,000 years ago.
It is the second youngest product of the Hawaiian hotspot and the current eruptive center of the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain. Because it lacks topographic prominence and its activities historically coincided with those of Mauna Loa, Kīlauea was once thought to be a satellite of its much larger neighbor. Structurally, Kīlauea has a large, fairly recently formed caldera at its summit and two active rift zones, one extending 125 km (78 mi) east and the other 35 km (22 mi) west, as an active fault of unknown depth moving vertically an average of 2 to 20 mm (0.1 to 0.8 in) per year.
Kīlauea erupted nearly continuously from 1983 to 2018, causing considerable property damage, including the destruction of the towns of Kalapana in 1990, and Vacationland Hawaii and Kapoho in 2018. During the 2018 lower Puna eruption, which began on May 3, two dozen lava vents erupted downrift from the summit in Puna. The eruption was accompanied by a strong earthquake on May 4 of Mw 6.9, and nearly 2,000 residents were evacuated from the rural Leilani Estates subdivision and nearby areas.
On May 17, 2018 at 4:17 AM, the volcano explosively erupted at the summit in Halemaʻumaʻu, throwing ash 30,000 feet into the air. Continued explosive activity at the summit caused a months-long closure of the Kīlauea section of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Vigorous eruptive lava fountains in lower Puna sent destructive rivers of molten rock into the ocean in three places. The lava destroyed Hawaii's largest natural freshwater lake, covered substantial portions of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens, and completely inundated the communities of Kapoho, Vacationland Hawaii and all but three houses in the Kapoho Beach Lots. Lava also filled Kapoho Bay and extended new land nearly a mile into the sea. The County of Hawaii reported that 716 dwellings were destroyed by lava. By early August the eruption subsided substantially, and the last active lava was reported at the surface on September 4, 2018. Portions of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park reopened to the public on September 22. On December 5, 2018, after 90 days of inactivity from the volcano, the eruption that started in 1983 was declared to be over.Mauna Ulu
Mauna Ulu is a volcanic cone in the eastern rift zone of the Kīlauea volcano on the island of Hawaii. It falls within the bounds of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Mauna Ulu was in a state of eruption from May 1969 to July 1974.Melicope zahlbruckneri
Melicope zahlbruckneri, with the common names Zahlbruckner's melicope, Zahlbruckner's pelea, and kipuka piaula, is a species of tree in the citrus family.
It is endemic to the big island of Hawaii in the Hawaiian Islands, currently with one extant population within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Like other Hawaiian Melicope, this species is known as alani.Its habitat is lava flows and soils rich in volcanic ash. There is a single population of 25 mature trees in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and a few trees at a location nearby. A few immature trees have been planted in appropriate habitat. The plants are protected from cattle and feral pigs, but the habitat is still affected by non-native plants.It is an IUCN Red List and U.S. federally listed endangered species, threatened by habitat loss.National Register of Historic Places listings in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, United States. The locations of National Register properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in a Google map.There are ten properties and districts listed on the National Register in the park..
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted October 18, 2019.Pauahi (crater)
Pauahi Crater measures 2,000 ft (610 m) long, up to some 1,300 ft (400 m) across, and 300 ft (91 m) deep and is situated in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park at 19°22′6″N 155°13′21″W, about 3 mi (4.8 km) from the top of the Big Island of Hawaii's Chain of Craters Road, which follows a "chain" also includes the Hiiaka, Pauahi, Pu'u Huluhulu, Kane Nui O Hamo, Makaopuhi, and Napau Craters.Puna-Kau Historic District
The Puna-Kāʻu Historic District is an archaeological district located on the Puna-Kāʻu coastline in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The district includes over 300 sites occupied by Polynesians from the 13th through 19th centuries. Eleven of the sites within the district are considered exceptionally significant to modern understanding of native Hawaiian culture and have been the focus of most archaeological research in the area. Five of these sites are villages, at Poupou-Kauka, Kailiili, Kamoamoa, Laeʻapuki, Keahou Landing; these village sites provide insight into the agricultural and social practices of the Polynesians. The Puna-Kāʻu coastal trail, another one of the significant sites, connected these villages and provided a link to communities in the mountains. The remaining sites include the Wahaulu Heiau temple, the Puuloa petroglyph site, a pulu factory, and two shelter sites used by fishermen and opihi pickers.The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 1, 1974. In addition, the Historic Hawaii Foundation created a list of historic places, including the Puna-Kāʻu Historic District, as a service to preserve the Hawaiian people's history and culture.Volcano House
Volcano House is the name of a series of historic hotels built at the edge of Kīlauea, within the grounds of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the Island of Hawai'i. The original 1877 building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and now houses the Volcano Art Center. The hotel in use today was built in 1941 and expanded in 1961.
Between May 2018 and October 2018, the hotel and the Kīlauea summit area of the national park were closed to the public due to volcanic explosions and earthquakes.Zanthoxylum dipetalum
Zanthoxylum dipetalum is a rare species of tree in the citrus family and in the same genus as Szechuan pepper. It is known by the Hawaiian names Kāwa'u and Heaʻe and is endemic to the Hawaiian archipelago, where it grows in forests on 3 or 4 of the islands.There are two varieties.
Z. d. var. dipetalum is present on Kauaʻi, in the mountains of Oʻahu, on Hawaiʻi in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, and possibly on Molokaʻi.
Z. d. var. tomentosum is known from fewer than 30 individuals on Hualālai volcano on Hawaiʻi. This variety is a federally listed endangered species of the United States.The roots of Z. dipetalum have been found to contain several chemical compounds, including canthin-6-one, chelerythrine, nitidine, tembetarine, avicennol, xanthoxyletin, lupeol, hesperidin, sitosterol, and magnoflorine.
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