Mauna Loa

Volcano Research Project, Professor Davis

Mauna Loa

Mauna loa is located in Hawaii. Mauna loa is a shield volcano thats last eruption occurred between the months of March and April in the year 1984. Just like the other volcanoes in Hawaii, it was created as the pacific tectonic plate moved over the Hawaiian hotspot. The local climate in Hawaii is effectively heavily, due to the presence of the volcano. The eastern side of the volcano experiences heavy rainfall, and the western side has a lot drier climate. The climate is all around a tropical climate with high temperatures at lower levels, and cool to cold temperatures at higher levels.

Mauna loa is one of five volcanoes on the Pacific Islands of Hawaii. It is the largest of the volcanoes in mass and volume, and has actually been recorded as the largest volcano in the world. Although the peak of the mountain is shorter than its neighboring volcano Mauna Kea, the length of the volcano is a lot larger. The name Mauna loa means “Long Mountain.” Lava eruptions from the volcano are very slow and flowing over the shallow slopes of the mountain, the eruptions are never explosive.

The volcano has been erupting for over 700,000 years, and may have risen above sea level almost 400,00 years ago. The oldest rocks around the volcano are no longer than 200,000 years old. The magma that comes from the volcano is from the Hawaiian hotspot that has been responsible for the creation of the string of Hawaiian islands for over 1 million years. The slow drift of the plates will eventually move the volcano away from the hotspot and cause it to be extinct in an estimated 500,000 years. No recent eruptions from the volcano have caused fatalities, but earlier eruptions in the 1900s destroyed cities. The city of Hilo was actually built on lava flows in the early 1900s.

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