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The Volcanoes of Hawaii

Hawaii Volcanoes

Volcanoes in Hawaii are formed by molten rock, ash, and gas that come out of Earth’s crust. The most famous volcano in Hawaii is called Kilauea, which is located on the big island of Hawaii. When Kilauea erupts, it creates a fiery show of lava flowing down its sides and into the ocean. This creates new land and changes the shape of the island. Scientists closely monitor these volcanoes to make sure that people are safe.

Facts About Volcanoes


Kilauea is a volcano on the big island of Hawaii, and it’s one of the most famous and active volcanoes in the world. The volcano has been almost continuously erupting since 1983. Another interesting fact about Kilauea is that it has created a black sand beach. The black sand is made from tiny fragments of volcanic rock broken down by the ocean. Scientists closely monitor Kilauea to make sure it’s safe for people to visit, since it’s so active.

Mauna Loa

Another volcano located on the big island of Hawaii is Mauna Loa, which is classified as a giant volcano. It’s actually one of the largest volcanoes in the world, and it covers about half of the big island. Mauna Loa is a type of volcano known as a shield volcano, which means that it has gently sloped sides and spreads out over a wide area. Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times since its first well-documented eruption in 1843.


Hualalai is an inactive volcano that also can be found on the big island. Scientists and historians agree that it last erupted in the early 1800s. Although it’s quiet now, it is considered one of the most historically active volcanoes in Hawaii. Hualalai is believed to have created several hot springs in the area. It’s also home to a rare type of volcanic rock called Pele’s hair, named after the Hawaiian goddess of fire and volcanoes. The strands of Pele’s hair are thin and brittle. This type of rock can only be found in areas near active volcanic vents.

Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea is another volcano located on the big island. Although it was long considered dormant, it erupted at the end of 2022. Unlike the other volcanoes it shares the island with, it is one of the tallest mountains in the world. When measured from its base, Mauna Kea is actually taller than Mount Everest. That’s because Mauna Kea starts deep under the ocean and rises to its peak on land. Another interesting fact about Mauna Kea is that it’s home to some of the world’s largest and most advanced telescopes. Scientists from all over the world come to Mauna Kea to study the stars and learn more about the universe.

Kama'ehuakanaloa (Formerly Lo'ihi Seamount)

Kama’ehuakanaloa, which formerly was known as Lo’ihi Seamount, is an underwater volcano located off the coast of Hawaii’s big island. It’s still growing, and scientists believe that one day, it may break the surface of the ocean and become the newest island in Hawaii. In the meantime, scientists are studying Kama’ehuakanaloa to learn more about how underwater volcanoes form and grow. They use special equipment to analyze the volcano and gather information about the molten rock, ash, and gas that it produces.


The island of Maui is home to Haleakala, which is classified as a shield volcano. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hawaii because of its stunning sunrise views from the summit. Many of these tourists are unaware that Haleakala is also home to a unique ecosystem. The summit of Haleakala is above the cloud line and has a very different climate than the rest of Maui, and this has allowed many plant species to evolve that are found nowhere else in the world. Another lesser-known fact about Haleakala is that it was once used as a training ground for astronauts. The harsh conditions and rugged landscape of the summit were used to simulate the moon’s surface, which helped prepare the astronauts for their lunar missions.