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Following the pattern of Hawaiian volcano formation, Mauna Loa would have started as a submarine volcano, gradually building itself up through underwater eruptions of alkali basalt before emerging from the sea through a series of surtseyan eruptions it makes up more than half of the surface area of the island of Hawaiʻi.Combining the volcano's extensive submarine flanks (5,000 m (16,400 ft) to the sea floor) and 4,170 m (13,680 ft) subaerial height, Mauna Loa rises 9,170 m (30,085 ft) from base to summit, elevation of Mount Everest from sea level to its summit.Mauna Loa is slumping eastward along its southwestern rift zone, leveraging its mass into Kīlauea and driving the latter eastward at a rate of about 10 cm (4 in) per year; the interaction between the two volcanoes in this manner has generated a number of large earthquakes in the past, and has resulted in a significant area of debris off of Kīlauea's seaward flank known as the Hilina Slump.A system of older faults exists on the southeastern side of Mauna Loa that likely formed before Kilauea became large enough to impede Mauna Loa's slump, the lowest and northernmost of which, the Kaoiki fault, remains an active earthquake center today.In addition, much of the mountain is invisible even underwater: its mass depresses the crust beneath it by another 8 km (5 mi), in the shape of an inverse mountain, Mauna Loa is a typical shield volcano in form, taking the shape of a long, broad dome extending down to the ocean floor whose slopes are about 12° at their steepest, a consequence of its extremely fluid lava.The shield-stage lavas that built the enormous main mass of the mountain are tholeiitic basalts, like those of Mauna Kea, created through the mixing of primary magma and subducted oceanic crust.
The damage was so extensive that the headwall of the damage likely intersected its southwestern rift zone.Mauna Loa has complex interactions with its neighbors, Hualālai to the west, Mauna Kea to the north, and particularly Kīlauea to the east.Lavas from Mauna Kea intersect with Mauna Loa's basal flows as a consequence of Kea's older age, There are also a series of normal faults on Mauna Loa's northern and western slopes, between its two major rift zones, that are believed to be the result of combined circumferential tension from the two rift zones and from added pressure due to the westward growth of neighboring Kīlauea.Nonetheless, their proximity has led to a historical trend in which high activity at one volcano roughly coincides with low activity at the other.When Kīlauea lay dormant between 19, Mauna Loa became active, and when the latter remained quiet from 1952 to 1974, the reverse was true.
) is one of five volcanoes that form the Island of Hawaii in the U. It is an active shield volcano with relatively gentle slopes, with a volume estimated at approximately 18,000 cubic miles (75,000 km although its peak is about 120 feet (37 m) lower than that of its neighbor, Mauna Kea.