Pāhoehoe Lava from Mauna Loa Volcano

Mauna Loa lava flow

Mauna Loa Lava Flow
Location: Big Island, Hawaii

That's My World

At present, Kilauea volcano is the most well-known of Hawaii's volcanoes - probably because it is vigorously erupting right now, and has been erupting more or less continuously since 1983.  There is another active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island, and that would be Mauna Loa.  Although it has not erupted since 1984, Mauna Loa is still considered to be active -- that is, capable of erupting again at any time.  The name Mauna Loa means 'long mountain' in the Hawaiian language.

This photo was taken near a road that runs over a pass between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.   It shows Mauna Loa in the distance, with numerous cooled lava flows cascading down its flanks.  In the foreground is some of the lava from a 1935 eruption.

The type of lava you see in the photo is called pāhoehoe.  It flows like a heavy syrup, and when it cools it has a smooth or wavy surface, much like thick frosting on a cake.  Another type of lava, called ʻaʻā, also is found in flows from all of Hawaii's volcanoes.  ʻAʻā flows are not smooth at all, in contrast to pāhoehoe.   Instead ʻaʻā flows look like disorderly heaps of broken up lava rock -- which is what they are!

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22 comments:

Susan said...

Wow. I've never visited a volcano (yet!) so I loved this post and the history, and the language lessons!

Hawaiian photos are always lovely, but I like your close up of the lava flow with the distant mountain and beautiful sky. Thank you!

magiceye said...

awesome sight! thank you for all the information too!

Wren said...

I had no idea that there was such variety in lava flow. I'm planning to visit a volcano someday.

Dorothy said...

I enjoyed this post, but have no desire to be any close to a volcano. Interesting to read about it and see your pictures.

Indrani said...

Whoa! shots of lava from a live volcano!! They may have cooled, but I can't imagine going so close.

J.C. said...

Your shot is similar to a documentary I saw on Discovery Channel about lava flow in Hawaii! Your description is really useful for us to learn more! Thx!

Louise said...

Very interesting. I've always wanted to see an erupting volcano!

Connie said...

I went there once. It was very hard to walk on. Nice picture.

2sweetnsaxy said...

I've always found volcanos fascinating. In the picture, it reminds me of how the top of brownies make when you take them out of the oven before you cut them into squares. Great shot.

T and S said...

WOW...You have captured the spirit of this volcano. The previous post on the Weka is also an amazing catch

Esther Garvi said...

Beautiful! No volcanoes at my end of the world so I got to discover your view!

MWT greetings from West Africa,
Esther

SandyCarlson said...

Thanks for this, Bobbie. I have learned quite a lot. What a different side to the lush Hawaiian landscape!

fishing guy said...

Bobbie: What an interesting view of the volcanoes of your world.

ewok1993 said...

Amazing sight, one I long to see with my own eyes someday.

Thanks for sharing.

marina said...

So, you've visited Greece...! I stand in awe and fear before the volcanos!

The Good Life in Virginia said...

thank you for sharing about the volcanoes and their status. i was unaware that there were two active volcanoes on the big island.
have a great week.

Gaelyn said...

Great capture of the lava field. Must be weird to approach the slow moving pahoehoe. Thanks for sharing a piece of your world.

Mojo said...

If not for the blue sky, you could be looking at the surface of the moon here. Inspiring shot.

Tink *~*~* said...

Parts of it look all shiny and swirly, like cake icing.... great now I'm hungry! LOL!

Have an awesome Thanksgiving

Tink *~*~*
My Mobile Adventures *~*~*

Baruch said...

Wow, now that's very active .. and interesting.

Luiz Ramos said...

Great shot. Beautiful your World.
Beautiful Nature.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Great post and picture, love the info on the lava flow!