Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Accessibility to the ongoing eruptions of Kilauea Volcano and the periodic eruptions of Mauna Loa, offers opportunity for the scientist and casual observer alike, to witness the formation of an array of astounding geologic features including new cinder cones, glowing pit craters, rivers of lava and fountains of spatter.
Molten rock rising from this hot spot, about 60 to 70 miles beneath the ocean floor, is currently fueling the continuous eruptions of Kilauea Volcano within the park.
Located more than 2,000 miles from the nearest continental landmass, the Hawaiian Archipelago is the most geographically isolated group of islands in the world. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park sits on the southeastern edge of the youngest and largest island at a latitude of 19°N.
Many organism groups common on continents never succeeded in making the journey to Hawai‘i. The descendents of those who arrived, survived and reproduced have evolved into an impressive array of endemic Hawaiian native species. This level of endemism surpasses most places on Earth—even the Galapagos Islands. Consequently, the park is an ideal living laboratory for the study of evolutionary processes.