HawaiiThe island of Hawaii is composedof five volcanoes: Kohala, Hualalai,Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa andKilauea. We visited the last 3.
Mauna KeaLast erupted 4,500 years agoTallest volcano on EarthCharacterized by abundant cinderconesKnown for the astronomicalobservatories on its summit
Mauna KeaGlacial features on Mauna Kea.Yes, there were glaciers on MaunaKea. No, you can’t see much in thisphoto.
Puu MahanaTo get an idea as to what the insideof a cinder cone (sort of) looks like,we visit one of only two greensand beaches in the world. Thisbeach represents an eroded littoralcone, caused by the interaction offlowing lava (associated withMauna Loa) and seawater.
Green Sand BeachThe ash that eroded to produce thebeach.
Black Sand atPunalu’uFor comparison to the green sand,here turtles are relaxing on a blacksand beach. The black sand formsat a point where lava entered thesea and cooled very quickly.
Mauna LoaTallest mountain in the world (ifyou measure from the seafloor)Last erupted in 1984Covered with multi-colored lavaflows
ObservatoryAt just over 11,000 feet is theNational Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration’s Mauna LoaObservatory. The observatory hasbeen measuring atmospheric gases,particles and solar radiation sincethe 1950s.
ObservatoryThe original 1950s carbon dioxidemonitor
ObservatoryWater-mist fire extinguisher.Computer geeks like these becausethe extinguishing agent doesn’tconduct electricity and it doesn’tmake a mess like a regular multi-purpose dry chemical extinguisher.
Mauna LoaIn 1935, stone walls were built in anattempt to contain lava flows
KilaueaOne of the most active volcanoeson EarthHas been erupting continuouslysince 1983
A large block of the Kilauea rim has partially slumped into thecaldera. Steam escapes from vents all over this slumped area.
The Sulphur BanksVents, known as solfatars, emit gases, including sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide.Condensation of these emissions leaves deposits of yellow sulfur, red hematite and white opal.