Loihi, a hot spot volcano is growing on the slopes of Mauna Loa. The submarine volcano is located over the hot spot in the Pacific Ocean which gave rise to the other Hawaiian Islands. This newest volcano is the youngest member of a chain of volcanoes that reaches all the way to the Aleutian Islands in the North Pacific.
Newest member of the Hawaiian volcanoes, NOAA
Seamount forming off Hawaii's coast
This newest member of the Hawaiian volcanoes summit reaches 3000 feet above the ocean floor and is within 1000 feet of the ocean surface. When the seamount grows another 1,000 feet it will emerge as a new island or part of the Big Island of Hawaii like Kilauea.
Appearance of seamount
The volcano, at the present time, is steep-sided with a dome at the summit. There were several vents at the top of the dome named Pele's vents until 1996. After a large eruption in 1996 the dome collapsed forming a crater 1000-feet deep which has been named Pele's Pit.
Studying volcano from 1987-1993
Loihi is an ideal site for scientists to monitor the hot spot volcano because it is only a 24-hour cruise from the University of Hawaii by ship to the site. From 1987 to 1993 the Ocean Bottom Observatory (OBO) in the picture above took time-lapse video, recorded earthquakes, and vent temperatures of the volcano.
NOAA's Pisces V submersible
Today NOAA uses a submersible, Pisces V, that seats three people to study the volcano. They have found many unique organisms living on the volcano and believe it will be colonized by tube worms and other creatures that live in these extreme conditions.
The Krakatoa Eruption Pyroclastic flows swept down Krakatoa during the eruption generating tsunamis and swept across the oceans to other islands.
Vesuvius Eruption The Vesuvius eruption was the first documented account of a volcanic eruption.
Shield Volcanoes The Hawaiian shield volcanoes are the largest volcanoes on Earth.
Super Volcanoes Super volcanoes produce the largest volcanic eruptions on Earth.
Pyroclastic Flows Pyroclastic flows travel down the sides of volcanoes at hurricane speed destroying every thing in their path.
Loihi, Hawaii's Newest Volcano A sea mount lying off the coast of the big island of Hawaii is the newest volcano in the chain.
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.