Hawaii is a state founded on volcanoes — literally. The 132 islands that make up Hawaii are a result of millions of years of volcanic activity stemming from the same “hot spot,” an undersea hot lava source.
Kilauea and Mauna Loa are the Aloha State’s most famous volcanoes and both are located inside Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. With more than 50 recorded eruptions from 1952–1985, Kilauea is considered the world’s most active volcano. Since 1983, it has been continuously erupting along its eastern rift zone. This passive outpouring of lava has made Kilauea a favorite volcano with researchers as well.
Boasting a volume greater than 83,350 cubic kilometers, Mauna Loa is the world’s most massive mountain. Its summit stands 17,000 meters above the ocean floor. Though not as active as Kilauea, Mauna Loa, scientists believe, has been erupting for the last 700,000 years. The fluid volcanic activity of both Kilauea and Mauna Loa produces layers of molten lava that continue to build Hawaii.
For its active volcanoes, rich biodiversity and cultural significance, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
Find out more about Hawaii at DiscoverAmerica.com.