Since just after midnight Jan. 3, 1983, lava has poured almost continuously from a cluster of vents on the eastern flank of Kilauea Volcano. Through 2012, fresh lava had covered more than 124.6 square kilometers (48.1 square miles) of the Big Island of Hawai’i. Activity has occurred during 60 distinct events, separated by shifts in the location or behavior of erupting lava. Most of these events have been centered at Pu’u ’O’o, a volcanic cone built from successive lava fountains and flows. The 60th eruptive episode began in March 2011 and was ongoing through January 4, 2013. It consists of a lava pond within Pu’u ’O’o, and a steady effusion of lava that stretches 10 kilometers (6 miles) to the Pacific Ocean.
For more information about Kilauea and 30 years of continuous eruptions check out the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.