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Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea Ringed by Clouds on Hawaii, USA

21.1N 157.2W

July 13th, 2010 Category: Volcanoes

USA - June 29th, 2010

USA - June 29th, 2010

Clouds surround the most of the base of Mauna Loa, one of five volcanoes that form the Island of Hawaii in the aponymous USA state in the Pacific Ocean. The relatively shallow slopes, created by fluid silica-poor lava eruptions, appear dark chocolate brown with some grooves.

Another volcano, Mauna Kea, is visible just north of Mauna Loa. It is also surrounded by clouds on most sides, except for the part where it “connects” to Mauna Loa. It can be distinguished from its neighbor by its slightly lighter and more golden brown color, and its rougher-looking surface.

Five Volcanoes of Hawaii’s Big Island

21.1N 157.2W

February 16th, 2010 Category: Volcanoes

USA - January 25th, 2010

USA - January 25th, 2010

The Island of Hawaii, also known as the “Big Island” in order to distinguish it from the state, is built from five separate shield volcanoes that erupted somewhat sequentially, one overlapping the other.

These are (from oldest to youngest): Kohala (extinct), Mauna Kea (dormant), Hualālai (active but not currently erupting), Mauna Loa (active), and Kīlauea (active: an eruption began in 1983 and as of 2010 has grown in size).

All five can be observed upon opening the full version of this orthorectified image: (clockwise from top) Kohala, Mauna Kea, Kilauea and Hualalai, with Mauna Loa in the center.

Because Mauna Loa and Kīlauea are active volcanoes, the “Big Island” of Hawaiʻi is still growing bigger. Between January 1983 and September 2002, lava flows added 543 acres (220 ha) to the island.

Mauna Loa Volcano and Ka Lae, Hawaii – February 4th, 2010

21.1N 157.2W

February 4th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Volcanoes

USA - December 20th, 2009

USA - December 20th, 2009

The full version of this orthorectified image stretches from the northernmost point of the island of Hawaii, across the volcano of Mauna Loa, to Ka Lae (or South Point), the southernmost point on the island.

As one may suppose from the area occupied by the volcano in the full image, it is the largest volcano on earth. This active shield volcano has a volume of about 18,000 cubic miles (75,000 km³), although it is not the highest peak on the island.

Ka Lae, also known as South Point, is the southernmost point on the Big Island of Hawaii as well as the southernmost point of the 50 United States. A confluence of ocean currents just offshore makes this spot one of Hawaii’s most popular fishing spots, although dangerous for swimming. The confluence of currents also means the area is prone to accumulation of marine debris.

Shallow Slopes of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, USA

21.1N 157.2W

January 17th, 2010 Category: Volcanoes

USA - January 2nd, 2010

USA - January 2nd, 2010

The broad slopes of Mauna Loa occupy most of the land visible in this image of the island of Hawaii, USA. Mauna Loa is the largest volcano in the world by volume. The volcano is still active today. Its shallow slopes are the result of silica-poor, thus very fluid, lava eruptions.

The volcano has probably been erupting for at least 700,000 years and may have emerged above sea level about 400,000 years ago, although the oldest-known dated rocks do not extend beyond 200,000 years. Its magma comes from the Hawaii hotspot, which has been responsible for the creation of the Hawaiian island chain for tens of millions of years.

Cape Kumukahi and Hilo, in Hawaii, USA

19.7N 155W

December 28th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

USA - December 18th, 2009

USA - December 18th, 2009

This orthorectified image of eastern Hawaii includes Cape Kumukahi, the easternmost point of the island chain. The cape lies at the end of the east rift zone of the slopes of Kilauea and has been threatened several times by eruptions.

Moving westward along the coast from the cape, the city of Hilo can be seen along the shores of Hilo Bay. It is the largest settlement on the island of Hawaii, and the second largest settlement in the state. The population was 40,759 at the 2000 census.

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