Mauna Loa Facts for Kids

Facts about Mauna Loa for Kids, Teachers and Parents 

Mauna Loa is the world’s largest active volcano with a height of over 4,169 metres (13,677 feet) above sea level. It’s located in the south-central part of the island of Hawaii, United States. It stands for “long mountain” in Hawaiian. 

Why it’s called the most active volcano on the planet is the fact that it has flared around three dozen times since its first well-documented explosion in 1843. Still, it’s the 2nd largest volcano after the biggest Tamu Massif. 

If these facts sound interesting to you, continue reading to know more interesting facts about this subaerial volcano, Mauna Loa.

  • Name: Mauna Loa
  • Elevation: 13,679 ft. (4,169 m)
  • Prominence: 7,079 ft. (2,158 m)
  • Parent range: Hawaiian Island
  • Age of rock: 700,000 – 1 million
  • Mountain type: Shield volcano 
  • Last eruption: March–April 1984

47 Interesting Mauna Loa facts for kids

1. March 24 to April 15, 1984 was the most recent eruption of Mauna Loa.

Mauna Loa facts
via Map from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory showing lava flows of Mauna Loa by year and designated lava flow hazard zones | credit

2. Mauna Loa is one of the five volcanoes that form Hawaii Island. 

3. Mauna Loa is a subaerial volcano of the largest size in terms of both mass and volume.

4. Although Mauna Loa is the largest volcano on the planet Earth, it’s next only to Tamu Massif. 

5. Mauna Loa is an active shield volcano.

6. The eruptions from Mauna are believed to be silica-poor and very fluid.

Mauna Loa Facts
via USGS HVO | Credit bigislandvideonews

7. Mauna Loa eruptions are non-explosive.

8. The name Mauna Loa signifies “long mountain” in Hawaiian.

9. It is spread across more than 50 percent of Hawaii Island.

10. The volcano is so huge that it makes the Pacific plate it is residing on slump under its weight.Jasper and garnet are considered alternatives for amethysts.

11. The other four volcanoes of which Mauna Loa is a part are Kohala, Mauna Kea, Hualalai, and Kilauea. Of these four, the latter three are still active.

12. Mauna Loa puts out approximately 12 million cubic meters of lava per day.

via USGS | Credit

13. Research shows that the oldest rocks on the volcano age back between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago.

14. The volcano has erupted around 33 times since 1843 as per the available records.strength, and balance.

15. Mauna Loa is located on the Pacific plate.

16. More than 98% of the Mouna Loa’s surface is covered with lava flow. 

17. The majority of Mauna Loa is situated in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

18. It’s one of those volcanoes which is situated in a populated area of Hawaii. 

19. Mauna Loa has so far erupted about 15,500 to 19,200 cubic miles of silica lava that has now twirled into solid rock. “halam.”

20. Mauna Loa has two unique cycles of eruption.

21. Being a shield volcano, Mauna Loa is wide with gently sloping sides.

22. The eruptions of the volcano are not violent.

23. The volcano was formed by the volcano goddess Pele.

24. To date, only a few people have lost their lives due to the eruptions of Mauna Loa.The largest amethyst mine is located in North America in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

25. Mauna Loa causes great damage to the houses nearby. As per records maintained by the US government, one of its eruptions overran a nearby village and the Hawaii Route 11 highway in 1950.

26.The lava from Mauna Loa’s last eruption in 1984 spread over an area of four and a half thousand hectares. This area accounts for the total area of 6,000 football fields.

27. Mauna Loa is the most active volcano in the world. This means it erupts more than anyone else.

28. It’s 60 miles in length, 30 miles in width and 13,680 feet above sea level i.e. height.

29. However, when measured from the ocean floor, it dwarfs down the majestic Mount Everest.bolizes the regal hue.

30. Mauna Loa measures more than 30,000 feet from the ocean floor.of Amethyst. One of the stories says Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, was angry because somebody turned against him, and he was seeking revenge.

31. The United States’s Geological Survey provides for a precise mapping system to identify hazard zones due to Mauna Loa.

32. The volcano’s summit is defined by cold temperatures with most precipitation being snow.

Mauna Loa Facts
via This InSAR interferogram shows the overall inflation of Mauna Loa’s summit that occurred from November 2020 to March 2021. It also shows several fringes (color cycles) consistent with subsidence inside Moku‘āweoweo caldera and related to a shallow earthquake that was recorded on March 6, 2021. The red circles show the locations of earthquakes associated with that event as determined by HVO’s seismic network. (Image: USGS-HVO) | credit

33. The peak of Mauna Loa is around 125 feet (38 m) lower than its closest neighbour Mount geodes that were shaped like the arch of a cathedral.

34. Mauna Loa is the 2nd newest of the five volcanoes on Hawaii island.

35. The volcano Mauna Loa is tall enough to have suffered glaciation during the ice age around 25,000 to 15,000 years ago.

36. The 1975 eruption of Mauna Loa lasted for less than a day.

37. The 1868 eruption of Mauna Loa is still claimed to be the deadliest eruption of all time. This is based on the fact that 77 Hawaiians lost their lives in the associated tsunami and landslides.

38. The 1868 eruption of Mauna Loa began at its summit caldera, Moku‘āweoweo.

39. The 1868 eruption led to an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 in Kaʻū.

40. Mauna Loa erupts once every five years.t wear Amethyst.

41. During the 1935 eruption of Mauna Loa, the lava reportedly moved 600 feet in 25 minutes. It’s one of the fastest flowing speeds for any lava.

42. The 1950 eruption of Mauna Loa was the fastest high-volume eruption ever recorded in the history of eruptions in Hawaii. During the eruption, the molten lava reached the ocean base in only three hours.

43. After 1950, the volcano Mauna Loa stayed quiet for a quarter-century before erupting again in 1975.

44. It’s estimated that the volcano Mauna Loa is again heading towards another major eruption since 1984.

45. Mauna Loa houses a summit named caldera. It also hosts two rift zones. These are – the Northeast Rift Zone and the Southwest Rift Zone.

46. The eruption style of Mauna Loa is effusive. That means it’s not violent at times.

47. All eruptions of Mauna Loa occurred in the following years – 1832, 1843, 1849, 1851, 1852, 1855-56, 1859, 1865-66, 1868, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1873-74, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1879, 1880, 1880-81, 1887, 1892, 1896, 1899, 1903, 1907, 1914-15, 1916, 1919, 1926, 1933, 1935-36, 1940, 1950, 1975, 1984.


Hawaii island is a result of the five major and active volcanoes namely Mauna Loa, Kohala, Mauna Kea, Hualalai, and Kilauea. Of all these, Mauna Loa is the most active volcano with a frequency of eruption once every five years. 

However, being non-violent, the lava from the volcano isn’t believed to cause huge harm to the humans but pose a great risk to the property. So far, Mauna Loa has erupted more than 33 times.

Mauna Loa Pictures