a. 360 Photos: 22, 23; 360 Videos: 24—Mauna Loa hike, elevation 7000 ft. (8/18/16) This location gives you a sense of shape and scale of Manua Loa, the largest (though not tallest) subaerial volcano on Earth. Lava flows from Mauna Loa extend all the way to the coastline towards the southwest. The steam from the lava lake at Halema’uma’u (Kilauea) is barely visible to the south. As a shield volcano, Mauna Loa has broad, gentle slopes. The short and scrubby vegetation indicate both the harsh growing conditions at high elevations and the relatively young age of the lava flows.
Figure 1: Hawaii’s lava flows show a wide variety of colors and vegetation, depending on their age, elevation, and how much rainfall they receive. These flows on Mauna Loa are redder and more weathered than newer flows.