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U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012–3127


The Ongoing Puʻu ʻŌʻō Eruption of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaiʻi—30 Years of Eruptive Activity

By Tim R. Orr, Christina Heliker, and Matthew R. Patrick

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (3.4 MB)Summary

The Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption of Kīlauea Volcano is its longest rift-zone eruption in more than 500 years. Since the eruption began in 1983, lava flows have buried 48 square miles (125 square kilometers) of land and added about 500 acres (200 hectares) of new land to the Island of Hawaiʻi. The eruption not only challenges local communities, which must adapt to an ever-changing and sometimes-destructive environment, but has also drawn millions of visitors to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists closely monitor and evaluate hazards at Hawaiʻi’s volcanoes and also work with park rangers to help ensure safe lava viewing for visitors.

First posted January 3, 2013

  • This report is also available in print from:

    USGS Information Services, Box 25286,
    Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225
    telephone: 888 ASK-USGS; e-mail:

For additional information:
Contact HVO
Volcano Science Center, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
U.S. Geological Survey
P.O. Box 51, 1 Crater Rim Road
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718-0051

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Suggested citation:

Orr, T.R., Heliker, C., and Patrick, M.R., 2013, The ongoing Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaiʻi—30 years of eruptive activity: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012–3127, 6 p. (Available at

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