Kilauea is the youngest and southeastern most volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. Topographically Kilauea appears as only a bulge on the southeastern flank of Mauna Loa, and so for many years Kilauea was thought to be a mere satellite of its giant neighbor, not a separate volcano. However, research over the past few decades shows clearly that Kilauea has its own magma-plumbing system, extending to the surface from more than 60 km deep in the earth.
The Hawaiian name "Kilauea" means "spewing" or "much spreading," apparently in reference to the lava flows that it erupts. Eruptions have been Continuous since January 3, 1983. It is estimated that the first eruption of Kilauea
has between 300,000 and 600,000 years ago.