Hawaiian Volcanoes Are
Giant Shield Volcanoes

Introduction
The Hawaiian volcanoes are the biggest mountain range on Earth. They have formed over a stationary hot spot in the middle of the Pacific Plate. The tops of some of the mountains project above the ocean's surface forming the Hawaiian islands. The state of Hawaii consists of eight main islands and an archipelago that stretches 1600 miles in length.

Mauna Loa eruption, HVO-USGS

Mauna Loa eruption, HVO-USGS

Big Island volcanoes
The Big Island of Hawaii was created by five volcanoes: Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Kilauea, Kohala Volcano and Hualalai Volcano.The tallest volcanoes in the Pacfic Ocean are Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

Mauna Kea is the tallest volcano in the Hawaiian chain. It is 4,205 meters (13,796 feet) above sea level. Measuring the mountain from its base on the ocean floor to its summit the volcano is 10,000 meters (33,000 feet) tall.

Mauna Loa volcano
Mauna Loa is slightly shorter than Mauna Kea at 4169 meters (13,679 feet). Mauna Loa is the largest volcano on Earth in terms of volume and area covered. The volcano's estimated volume is 75,000 cubic meters (18,000 cubic miles). The volcano is still active and there have been 33 eruptions since 1843.

1984 eruption
The last eruption in 1984 stopped just a few miles short of Hilo, Hawaii. The volcano does not erupt as often as Kilauea but when it erupts the volume is much greater. During the last eruption in 1843 the volcano spewed out more lava that Kilauea usually produces in three years and came within a short distance to Hilo.

Kilauea volcano
Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes on our planet. The volcano began the longest rift-zone eruption in historic times on January 3, 1983. Lava fountains formed in the rift zone about ten miles below the summit caldera. Powerful eruptions threw molten rock high in the air building a cinder cone.

New vent forms on volcano
A new vent in 1986 created a lava lake on top of a small shield volcano. The small shield continued to increase in size and was about 180 feet tall and 4800 feet at its base by 1991.

Latest volcano information
Check on the latest information about the Hawaiian volcanoes at their website. Type in on your search engine recent volcanic activity hawaii. You will find a number of websites with information about the volcanoes. The addresses change without notice so you need to go to your favorite search engine to find the lastest activity. 

Hualalai Volcano
Hualalai Volcano is the third most active Hawaiian volcano and is located on the Kona side of the Big Island. The last eruptions of the volcano was over 200 years ago. Two eruptions in 1800 and 1801 produced lava flows from the northwest rift zone. The Kona airport lies on top of one of these flows.

More Volcano Links

Dome Volcano Find out more about these small crumbly volcanoes that form on the sides of larger volcanoes and in their craters.

Alaskan Volcanoes Find out more about the Alaskan volcanoes that frequently erupt all along the coast of Alaska.

Lahars-Volcanic Mudflows Find out more about lahars which are triggered by pyroclastic flows, eruptions that can bring death and destruction to people living near volcanoes.

Mount Pinatubo Find out more about the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century.

Katmai Volcano Find out more about this Alaskan volcano that was once thought to be the source of the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century.


Hawaiian Volcanoes Find out more about the Hawaiian volcanoes which are the largest volcanoes on Earth.

Volcano Facts Find out more volcano facts about these mountains of fire that produce Earth eruptions that can alter the weather on our planet sometimes for several years.

Kids Fun Science The links on our home page include information about volcanoes, science activities, plate tectonics, the rock cycle and much more.