65 Mauna Kea Facts To Learn About The Dormant Hawaiian Volcano | Kidadl


65 Mauna Kea Facts To Learn About The Dormant Hawaiian Volcano

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'Mauna Kea', meaning 'White Mountain', is one of the six volcanoes located on the island of Hawaii.

Hawaii is part of a large chain of islands that constitute the Hawaiian archipelago. It comprises eight big islands and several small islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Once you have finished reading this article, why not discover the Kilauea volcano facts and facts about shield volcanoes, here at Kidadl?

Facts About Mauna Kea

Read on to discover interesting facts:

  • Mauna Kea is located in the southernmost part of Hawaii, U.S.
  • Mauna Kea has not been classified as an extinct volcano yet.
  • This is a dormant volcano that can become active at any time.
  • Because of the hiking trails, it is a popular tourist destination.
  • The summit is located above the clouds and beyond pollution.
  • This makes it the best place for astronomical observation.
  • It is a shield volcano with a broad volcanic landscape at its summit.
  • In Hawaiian mythology, the five volcanoes are considered to be 'regions of god'.
  • Only high-ranking Hawaiians were allowed to climb the summit.
  • During winter, the apex of this volcano is covered with ice and snow.
  • Near the summit of the mountain, there is a lake.
  • Mauna Kea's summit is made up of more than 300 cinder cones and pumice cones on a lava plateau.
  • A cinder cone is also called an ash cone, and deposits occur around a volcanic vent.
  • Cinder cones are the smallest and simplest type of volcano.
  • The volcano doesn't have a summit caldera.
  • There aren't any reports of big eruptions at Mauna Kea.
  • A minimum of seven vents are said to have erupted 6,000–4,000 years ago.
  • The last time it erupted was around 4,600 years ago.
  • Small earthquakes beneath Mauna Kea volcano signal an eruption might occur.
  • Eruptions inside the volcano have reduced as the lava's chemistry has changed.
  • The volcano has moved away from the Hawaiian hotspot.
  • Many reaching the volcano's summit complain of altitude sickness due to the sudden spike in altitude from sea level.
  • There is a general restriction for pregnant women and children under the age of 13 to go to the mountain's highest point.
  • They are allowed only until the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Service (VIS).
  • People with heart or respiratory problems aren't recommended to go up the summit.
  • People who have scuba dived in the past 24 hours won't be allowed to the summit as they might lack oxygen.
  • Earlier volcanoes formed because of a hot spot that is 900 mi (1448.4 km) deep inside the Earth's crust.
  • Niihau is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands and is approximately 6 million years old.
  • Hawaii is the youngest and is 1 million years old.
  • The other five Hawaiian volcanoes are Kohala, Hualalai (1801), Mauna Loa (1984) and, Kilauea, the only active volcano since 1983.
  • Mauna Loa is the world's largest volcano.
  • Kohala is the oldest and now extinct volcano.
  • These are generally categorized as extinct, dormant, or active based on their activity.
  • Extinct ones won't erupt in the future.
  • Dormant ones are the ones that haven't erupted for a long time but might erupt in the future.
  • Active volcanoes have a recent eruption history and can erupt.
  • Inside an active volcano, molten rock, or magma, gets collected.
  • When the pressure increases inside, the magma moves up and comes out as lava.
  • The lava flows slowly and steadily till it cools and hardens.
  • Depending on the viscosity of the magma, they can be classified as shield volcanoes.
  • When lava spreads at a greater distance from the source and forms gentle slopes, it is a shield volcano.

History Of Mauna Kea

Read on to learn more about the history of Mauna Kea:

  • One million years ago, Mauna Kea appeared as a massive crack in the ocean surface.
  • The lava flow built up over time to form the second oldest and tallest mountain on the Big Island.
  • Mauna Kea was covered in thick glaciers during the ice ages.
  • It has major significance for the Hawaiian people and is very important in Hawaiian culture.
  • It is considered a sacred place, or Wahi kapu.
  • Hawaiian people write 'Maunakea' as one word, as recommended by the UH Hilo School of Hawaiian Language.
  • Hawaiian people believe that Mother Earth, or Papahānaumoku, and Father Sky, or Wākea, formed the islands, with the Big Island being the first.
  • Mauna Kea is thought to be the firstborn, or kupuna.
  • Mauna Kea is also referred to as ‘Ka Mauna a Wākea’
  • The Mountain of Wākea, who is the traditional God and father of Hawaii.
  • As per mythology, Mauna Kea is the home of Poli‘ahu, the snow goddess.
  • Polynesians first came to the Big Island around 1,500 years ago.
  • Their arrival brought new plants and animals to Hawaii, which began changing the landscape.
  • The coconut tree, which is now a staple of Hawaii, was brought on canoes as a food source.
  • People inhabited the slopes of Mauna Kea as they began producing food there.
  • They also produced tools from the volcanic-glacial basalts of the mountain.
  • This eventually turned the forest slopes of the mountain into green pastures and grasslands.
  • In the 18th century, Europeans destroyed the ecology of this mountain.
Mauna Kea observatories.

Geographical Facts About Mauna Kea

Read on to learn some interesting geographical facts about Mauna Kea:

  • Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain on our planet, at an elevation of 32,696 ft. (9965.7 m) when counted from its underwater base.
  • It is around 14,000 ft. (4267.2 m) above sea level.
  • More than half its height falls below the ocean surface at 18,900 ft. (5760.2 m) deep.
  • The total height above and below sea level is higher than Mt. Everest.
  • Mauna Kea's summit is above 40% of the Earth's atmosphere.
  • The summit is at the same height at which commercial airplanes fly.
  • Mauna Kea is slightly taller than Mauna Loa by volume, but it is 55% lower than Mauna Loa.
  • The Mauna Kea volcano gets seasonal snowfalls that make it look beautiful.
  • In the winter, its summit (highest point) is filled with snow.
  • The average temperature near the mountain summit is 32 F (0 C).
  • At times, the temperatures dip far below the freezing point.
  • The Mauna Kea volcano hosts the Mauna Kea Observatories.
  • Mauna Kea Observatories are the world's largest for infrared, optical, and submillimeter astronomy.
  • 11 countries have invested in the Mauna Kea Observatory.
  • The tallest mountain is a unique astronomical observation site due to its height.
  • The sky above the mountain summit is mostly clear, cloud-free, and free of pollutants.
  • The atmosphere above the mountain is best suited for measuring submillimeter and infrared radiation from celestial sources.
  • There is the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy at an altitude of 9,300 ft. (2834.6 m).
  • The mid-level facility was constructed in 1982 in honor of Ellison Onizuka, an astronaut from the Big Island.
  • The observatories are private research facilities and are not open to the public for visits.
  • Guided tours of the summit and stargazing are usually organized.

Mauna Kea's Significance

Here are some of the interesting facts about Mauna Kea's significance.

  • Mauna Kea is high in biodiversity, starting from its ocean depth water till its mountain summit.
  • It has a variety of habitats, like tropical forests, alpine woodlands, shrublands, and stone deserts.
  • There are many endemic species found only in Hawaii.
  • The ocean habitat surrounding the Mauna Kea volcano is diverse.
  • They are mainly found between the surface and 3,900 ft. (1188.7 m) deep.
  • Mauna Kea has fertile lower slopes that are used for agriculture.
  • Coffee beans are widely grown on the slopes of this mountain.
  • Its lower slopes are famous for hiking, bird watching, sightseeing, and hunting.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 91 Mauna Kea facts to learn about the dormant Hawaiian volcano, then why not take a look at Underwater volcano facts or facts about composite volcanoes.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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