Hualalai volcano

shield volcano 2523 m / 8,277 ft
Big Island (Hawai'i), 19.69°N / -155.87°W
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)

Hualalai, the third of the active shield volcano volcanoes on Hawai'i, is located to the northwest and wet of its giant neighbors Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. Hualalai volcano last erupted during 1800-1801, when it produced lava flows from 5 fissure vents that reached the sea and buried Hawaiian villages.
Hualalai began erupting about 800,000 years ago and breached the sea surface about 300,000 years ago. The volcano has 3 rift zones, the most prominent is the northwest rift, which is about 40 km long and continues into the sea to a depth of 3000 m.

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Typical eruption style: effusive
Hualalai volcano eruptions: 1801

Latest nearby earthquakes

TimeMag. / DepthDistance/Location
Thu, 17 Jun 2021 (GMT) (2 earthquakes)
17 Jun 2021 20:05:08 GMT
2.3

11 km
(45 km)
23 Km SSW of Captain Cook, Hawaii
17 Jun 2021 13:34:54 GMT
1.0

2 km
(30 km)
22 Km ENE of Honaunau-Napoopoo, Hawaii
Tue, 15 Jun 2021 (GMT) (3 earthquakes)
15 Jun 2021 16:43:40 GMT
1.4

3.5 km
(33 km)
22 Km E of Honaunau-Napoopoo, Hawaii
15 Jun 2021 11:37:37 GMT
1.0

1.8 km
(48 km)
24 Km WNW of Volcano, Hawaii
15 Jun 2021 06:28:54 GMT
0.8

3.1 km
(37 km)
21 Km E of Honaunau-Napoopoo, Hawaii

Background

Hualalai volcano, at the western end of the island, is the third youngest shield volcano on Hawaii. At 2523 m, it is dwarfed by its massive neighbors, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. Three rift zones, dotted with cinder cones and spatter cones, trend north, NW, and SE, and converge about 5 km east of the summit. Detailed mapping has shown that 95% of the surface area of the basaltic shield volcano is of Holocene age, more than half is less than 3000 years old, and a quarter is less than 1000 years old.
The only historical eruptions of Hualalai took place during the end of the 18th century and in 1801, when lava flows from vents on the NW rift zone reached the sea and buried Hawaiian villages; the 1801 Huehue lava flow underlies part of the international airport at Kona. The earlier of the two flows, the Kaupulehu lava flow, is notable for its large quantities of lava-encrusted mafic and ultramafic nodular xenoliths.
(Smithsonian / GVP volcano information)

1929 earthquake swarm
A seismic swarm occurred in 1929 under Hualalai volcano. There were several thousand earthquakes, some of which were felt as far as Honolulu. It is not known but likely that the swarm was caused by magma movements under the volcano.

1800-1801 eruption
The last (and only) historical eruption of Hualalai volcano was witnessed by one of Captain Cook's expedition crew members who had remained on the island. The eruption occurred from 2 fissure vents which fed 2 large lava flows to the west and northwest.
The Kaupulehu lava flow started high on the volcano at an altitude of between 1650-1800 m and reached the sea in 2 lobes between Kona Village Resort and Kiholo Bay, and beneath Kona International Airport. It covered Hawaiian villages at the shore and reached 16 km length.
A second lava flow was erupted from a vent at 500 m and built the Puhiopele cinder cone visible from the highway. This flow reached 6 km length also reached the sea. 3 other very small flows were erupted from vents located between the 2 main vents. ...more

See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8
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