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Return to the year 1983

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Pu'u 'O'o eruption begins

A new eruption series began at Pu'u 'O'o-Kupaianaha on the island of Hawai'i. The eruption began with 47 episodes of spectacular high fountaining, most lasting a day or less and occurring at 3-4 week intervals. 'A'a lava flows built an 800-foot cinder cone at Pu'u 'O'o. By 1986, the eruption activity shifted downrift and a period of continuous activity began. Lava originating from a central lava lake (Kupaianaha) flowed to the ocean through a network of lava tubes. This has been one of the most destructive flows in history, detroying the Waha'ula heiau, Waha'ula national park visitor center, Kalapana, Kaimu Bay, Kaimu black sand beach, and damaging more than 170 structures. The eruption has also added more than 280 acres of new land to Hawai'i island and continues today to change the shape of the coastline.

 Sites for further information

A Brief History of the Pu`u `O`o Eruption of Kilauea (Hawai`i Center for Volcanology, University of Hawaii)

The Pu`u `O`o-Kupaianaha Eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i: The First 20 Years (U.S.Geological Survey)

The Pu`u `O`o-Kupaianaha eruption: still flowing after all these years (U.S. Geological Survey)

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