Hawaiian Volcanoes

Monday, 20th June 2005 by

The Hawaiian Islands are at the end of a chain of volcanoes that began to form more than 70 million years ago. Each Hawaiian island is made of at least one volcano, and the island of Hawai`i, the southernmost of the Hawaiian islands, consists of five volcanoes, and is the location of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Hawai`i Hawaii Map

Here’s a look at three of the most interesting volcanoes on the island. I didn’t bother doing them all as unfortunately none of the island is in high-resolution yet :-(

Mauna Kea is Hawaii’s tallest volcano at 4,205 meters. It’s so tall, that snow forms on it’s upper reaches each winter (several meters deep!) and the name itself means ‘White Mountain’. It hasn’t erupted for around 4,500 years however.

Mauna Kea

Mauna Loa is Earth’s largest volcano, and fittingly it’s name means ‘Long Mountain’. It covers more than half of Hawai`i and accounts for 85 percent of the land-mass of all the Hawaiian islands combined. It is also considered one of the world’s most active volcanoes having erupted 33 times since 1843, most recently in 1984. Mauna Loa is certain to erupt again, and is carefully monitored for signs of volcanic activity.

Kilauea is perhaps the most active volcano in the world, it’s been erupting continually since 1983! Perhaps this is where it gets it’s name, which translates to ‘spewing’ or ‘much spreading’. Shown in our thumbnail is the cinder-and-spatter cone of Pu‘u‘Ō‘ō, which looks fantastic from up here with a plume of steam stretching southwards, and even huge areas of glowing orange lava!

Kilauea

There’s lots more fascinating information about all volcanoes on the island available at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website.

Many thanks to Alex, Gayle Olson, Fernando Gilbert, Mark Hardman, Luke Gibson, neil, Dakota, SlantyOD, Layla, Keith, Adam, Kirk, Jim McKeeth, JP, RPirolli, Kyoji, Jason, Eric, Clinton Neville, Nelson, Tony Tabor, Sam, Charles Sieg and Adam Crownoble.