The Mauna Kea is one of the 5 volcanoes of the Hawaiian island. It’s an inactive volcano and the literal meaning of its name is “white mountain” because this inactive volcano’s peak is almost always covered in snow.
If you are to measure the height of this mountain starting from its base that is sitting on the Pacific Ocean’s floor, you would measure it to be the highest mountain in the world, beating Mount Everest . From its base, its height measures over 10,000 meters but above sea level it’s only 4,207 meters in height. Thus, the Mauna Kea is the tallest volcano of Hawaii . The next highest volcano is the Mauna Loa which measures 4,170 meters, a 35 meter difference on the two volcanic mountains.
The Mauna Kea volcano was born from what is called as submarine eruptions. These are eruptions that happen on the sea floor and this occurred almost a million years ago and slowly with the increased amount of magma, the volcanic mountain of Mauna Kea was born. It grew to its great height today through numerous volcanic eruptions when it was still active.
Now, Mauna Kea is an inactive volcano as it had been dormant for thousands of years. Also, its lava’s chemical composition is now different compared to regular active volcanoes. Eruptions occured periodically but in small batches that dry up or solidify quickly. The eruptions produced very thick lava that flows heavily which causes the mountain’s construction to go steep.
Hawaii is popular for their tropical climate. People often come to Hawaii to enjoy their beautiful beaches. When we think of snow or glaciers, Hawaii is usually on the bottom of the list. Remarkably so, the Mauna Kea volcano and the Mauna Loa volcanoes are high enough to accumulate snow during the winter season. With the 2 tall volcanoes, it’s the Mauna Kea whose snow cap is more visible from sea level. A lot of tourists would go to Mauna Kea during winter to snowboard and ski. They travel to the mountain’s summit through the road that leads to it which made it more convenient for tourists and ski enthusiasts. The difference in this mountain though is that it can be dangerous. Air here is thin and it can get quite windy. It’s always advised to bring the right equipment just in case the weather condition would be fierce.
Since Mauna Kea had been dormant for over 4,000 years, many people still question if this dormant volcanic mountain will ever erupt again in the future. Scientists believe that the Mauna Kea volcano will eventually erupt again. For this reason, earthquakes beneath the mountain are monitored as that could trigger an eruption. But the period for eruption is very long as compared to the other volcanoes in Hawaii . The most recent activity or eruptions in Mauna Kea occurred 4,000 to 6,000 years ago when 7 vents of eruption occurred but none were historical unlike other dormant volcanic eruptions that had catastrophic results.