Mauna Loa is the world’s largest active volcano. It measures 13,697 feet above sea level and around 3,100 feet below sea level which makes it the biggest volcano on earth. It is a shield volcano covering more than 50 percent of the Hawaii Island. It erupted 33 times between 1843 and 1984.
It is located on the Pacific plate that sags because of its weight. More than 98 percent of the surface is covered with lava flow which is less than 10,000 years old. The first ever eruption of the Mauna Loa volcano is estimated to date back around 700,000 to 1 million years ago.
Quick Facts: –
- Most part of the Mauna Loa is situated within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
- The oldest rocks on this volcano have been dated back around 100,000 to 200,000 years.
- It is located in a populated area, so a mapping system is maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey to identify hazard zones.
- It has erupted between 15,500 to 19,200 cubic miles of lava that has now turned into solid rock.
- The summit of the volcano is occupied by a large caldera named as Mokuaweoweo.
- Mauna Loa is estimated to pump out approximately 12 million cubic meters in one single day.
- The volcano has two unique cycles of eruption. It erupts from the summit for 1,500 to 2,000 years then it switches to fissure eruptions on its flank.
- This is a shield volcano and that is why it is wide with gently sloping sides. Their eruptions are not violent.
- According to a Hawaiian legend, this volcano was formed by the volcano goddess Pele.