Kīlauea's current eruption dates back to January 3, 1983, and is by far its longest-duration historical period of activity, as well as one of the longest-duration eruptions in the world; as of January 2011, the eruption has produced 3.5 km (48 sq mi) of land.
The Center is a training and outreach program founded by Robert W. CSAV's mission is to provide information on volcanic and natural hazards that occur in Hawaiʻi and worldwide.
The volcano's foreseeable future activity will likely be much like it has been for the past 50,000 to 100,000 years; Hawaiian and explosive activity will continue to heighten Kīlauea's summit, build up its rift zones, and fill and refill its summit caldera.
Kīlauea lacks a topographical prominence, appearing only as a bulge on the southeastern flank of the nearby Mauna Loa; because of this, both native Hawaiians and early geologists considered it an active satellite of its more massive neighbor.
Structurally, Kīlauea has a large, fairly recently formed caldera at its summit and two active rift zones, one extending 125 km (78 mi) east and the other 35 km (22 mi) west, as an active fault of unknown depth moving vertically an average of 2 to 20 mm (0.1 to 0.8 in) per year.
Kīlauea's eruptive history has been a long and active one; its name means "spewing" or "much spreading" in the Hawaiian language, referring to its frequent outpouring of lava.