What is a erupion?
Asked in Kilauea
What are types of past eruptions have come from Kilauea?
Kiluaea has had several different types of eruptions throughout its recorded and studied history. Lava Flows - The most familiar type of eruption style this volcano has is also the reason it gets its designation. The lava flows the kilauea produces as well as most other shield volcanoes are extremely fluid and will travel great distances down the slopes of the volcano, this fluidity gives the volcano their appearance of the broad shield. This style of eruption is often times spectacular to watch and is also very placid in nature. Phreatic Eruptions - If an outbreak of lava happens close enough to the coast it can cause a phreatic eruption. This type of erupion occurs when super heated magma makes contact with sea water underground. This interaction generates a lot of steam almost on immediate conact and will cause a phreatic explosion at the vent, these explosions are often times small in nature and send the lava into the air as a very fine layer of dust. Explosive Eruption - The caldera at the summit of Kiluaea has caused major explosive eruptions before. Largest known to date is the eruption of 1790, this eruptive column of volcanic rock and ash reached the same altitude of the 1980 Mt. St. Helens eruption. These eruptions are believed to occur when the summit caldera of Kilauea is extremely deep allowing for explosive decompression of the magma reservoir when the magma makes contact with water in the caldera.