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Geology

Changes in Composition of the Lava and Gas Content of Kilauea

Introduction

Kilauea volcano is the most active volcano in Hawaiian Islands, Pacific Ocean and is a shield volcano among five volcanos’ that forms the island. Kilauea is also the most active volcano in the whole world that is continuously erupting since 1983. According to studies oldest eruption of volcano took place almost 2800 – 2100 years back (US Geological Survey). Since then Kilauea has erupted several times and studies has found that some changes have occurred in the gas and lava content of volcano. This change of lava content has a major impact on the ecology of mountain side. One change is the increase in silica content. As this volcano increases tourist attraction several people visit the spot to see volcanic eruption. Inhaling of silica dust that comes from the gas emission of volcano can cause diseases like bronchitis, cancer and silicosis for silica deposit in lungs will reduce its capacity. Another change was the increase of K2O content which if inhaled will cause irritation and coughing and is also likely to cause irritation to eyes and skin (Macdonald and Katsura). Hence this change is of great importance with regard to ecology of Kilauea and people visiting the place. This paper aims to analyze the factors that contributed to the change of gas and lava formation of Kilauea over years.