What Are Some Facts About Volcanoes in Hawaii?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 1, 2020 1:42:55 PM ET
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An interesting fact about the volcanoes in Hawaii is that although there are five active volcanoes, only three have been active in the last 200 years. These volcanoes are Kilauea, Mauna Loa and Hualalai. The other two active volcanoes are Haleakala and Lo'ihi.


The Hawaiian Islands, which are a chain of islands, have many volcanoes. However, the biggest island Hawaii consists of five volcanoes that are Mauna Loa, Kilauea, Hualalai, Kohala and Mauna Kea. Of these volcanoes, Kohala last erupted nearly 60,000 years ago and is extinct, while Mauna Kea erupted more than 3,000 years ago and is dormant. The last times the active volcanoes erupted were Mauna Loa in 1984, Hualalai in 1801 and Haleakala in 1790. As of 2015, Kilauea has erupted without interruption since 1983.

Lo'ihi is a submarine volcano that is situated about 15 miles in a southeast direction from Hawaii. Lo'ihi is also considered the youngest submarine volcano, and it will take thousands of years for it to emerge above sea level. Scientists know that it is active because there is evidence of fresh lava and geothermal vents.

Many of the volcanoes on the Hawaiian Islands are shield volcanoes, including Mauna Loa and Kilauea. A shield volcano is broad and domed, and it has sloping sides. Kilauea is the youngest shield volcano in Hawaii. This volcano has a caldera and crater named Halema'uma'u. According to Hawaiian lore, this is where the fire goddess Pele lives.