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Volcanoes of Hawaii: Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualālai – December 14th, 2009

19.8N 155.6W

December 14th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Volcanoes

USA - December 1st, 2009

USA - December 1st, 2009

The island of Hawaii is home to five volcanoes, three of which can be observed here in this orthorectified image. These are, clockwise from the upper right, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualālai.

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano in the post-shield stage of volcanic evolution. Its peak is 13,803 feet (4,207 m) above sea level but 33,476 feet (10,203 m) above its base on the floor of the Pacific Ocean, making it the world’s tallest mountain by this measure. The rounded formations on its flanks are various cinder cones.

Mauna Loa is an active shield volcano, with a volume estimated at approximately 18,000 cubic miles (75,000 km³). Its peak, with an elevation of 13,679 feet (4,169 m), is about 120 feet lower than that of Mauna Kea.

Hualālai is a dormant shield volcano with a peak at 8,271 feet (2,521 m) above sea level, much lower than those of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Although Hualālai is not nearly as active as nearby Mauna Loa, geologic mapping of the volcano shows that 80 percent of Hualālai’s surface is covered by lava flows no older than about 5,000 years.

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