Largest Subaerial Volcano
2nd Largest Overall
Like all Hawaiian volcanoes, Mauna Loa was created as the Pacific tectonic plate moved over the Hawaiian hot spot in the Earth's underlying mantle.
- The lava from Mauna Loa's various eruptions is basaltic, which is a type of
rock found in the ocean floor, and within the Earth's mantle.
- There are two primary types of volcanic flows on the Hawaiian islands. Fast-flowing pahoehoe and slow-moving aa.
- Though it is rare. More common are layers of sand and ash that are slowly cementing into rock. Since the Hawaiian islands are young, relative to continents, the sediments are uncommon and thin, which are sedimentary and igneous
Mauna Loa has probably been erupting for at least 700,000 years, and may have emerged above sea level about 400,000 years ago. The oldest-known dated rocks are not older than 200,000 years.
Covering a land area of 5,271 km2 (2,035 sq mi) and spans a maximum width of 120 km (75 mi).Mauna Loa rises an impressive 9,170 m (30,085 ft) from base to peak