Mauna Loa Facts

Mauna Loa Facts
Mauna Loa is the world's largest volcano, and is also one of the most active. It is a shield volcano, one of five that make up the U.S. Island of Hawaii located in the Pacific Ocean. It is believed that Mauna Loa has been erupting for 700,000 years or more, emerging from under the sea approximately 400,000 years ago. In the first half of the 20th century Mauna Loa's eruptions destroyed villages and its most recent eruption occurred in 1984, threatening Hilo, a city built on lava flows dating to the 1800s. Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes created by the Hawaii hotspot - a volcanic hotspot. Mauna Loa is the second youngest of these five volcanoes that make up Hawaii.
Interesting Mauna Loa Facts:
Mauna Loa means 'long mountain' in the Hawaiian language.
Mauna Loa rises 13,697 feet above sea level. It also reaches 3100 feet below sea level.
The Pacific plate underneath Mauna Loa sags because of its enormous weight.
Mauna Loa is so big that it covers more than 50% of Hawaii's big island.
Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes that make up Hawaii. The others include Mauna Kea, Kilauea, Hualalai, and Kohala.
Mauna Loa is considered to be in the shield stage. The caldera Mokuaweoweo at Mauna Loa's summit measures approximately 3.7 x 1.9 miles in size.
It is believed that Mauna Loa has erupted at least once every six years for the past 3000 years, but since records have been kept it has erupted every five years. Records were not kept prior to the late 1700s, but even those were not well documented.
Since 1843 Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times.
Because Mauna Loa is located in an area that is populated, the U.S. Geological Survey maintains a mapping system to identify hazard zones.
Since the documentation of eruptions of Mauna Loa has been kept, there have not been many fatalities. It is usually the lava flow that causes the most damage.
Mauna Loa has been monitored since 1912 when the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory was established by its founder Thomas A. Jaggar.
Thomas A. Jaggar tried to reach the summit of Mauna Loa in 1914 to watch the eruption. It wasn't until 1915 that he succeeded in having a route to the summit built by the US Army.
Scientists monitor the seismic activity to help determine when another eruption at Mauna Loa will occur.
The ancient Hawaiians lived on Hawaii as far back as 1500 years ago. They believed the volcano peaks were sacred, with Mauna Loa being the most sacred of them all because of its massive size.
Mauna Loa is so large that it impacts the climate of Hawaii. Hilo, on Mauna Loa's eastern side, is the wettest U.S. city, but there are lots of forested areas because of it.
Mauna Loa's summit is characterized by cold temperatures, with most precipitation being snow.
The last eruption of Mauna Loa in 1984 resulted in lava flow that stretched as far 4.5 miles of Hilo. This eruption lasted from March 25th to April 15th.

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