The Summit of Mauna Loa Hawaii
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The Summit of Mauna Loa, Hawai‘i

December 14, 2003
Far out in the central Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles from any large landmass, hot molten rock from deep in the Earth’s core bubbles up and periodically recreates the largest volcano in the world: Muana Loa on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Most of the surface of the volcano is covered by lava flows that have been laid down in the last 10,000 years, although geologists believe the volcano is probably between 600,000 and 1 million years old. In this Landsat image from February 5, 2000, the rivers of hardened lava make dark brown etchings across the massive volcano’s flanks. The peak reaches up 9 kilometers from the ocean floor, extending to an altitude of 4,170 meters (13,681 feet).

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