In 2018, Hawaii was in the news as fresh lava covered 13.7 square miles (35.5 km2) at the eastern end of the Big Island. Of course, lava flows in Hawaii are nothing new. Satellite imagery shows evidence of many lava flows from the past, appearing like dark curtains draped across the southern coast of the island.
The lava flows on this part of the island are from Kīlauea, the youngest volcano on the Island of Hawai‘i. Almost all of Kīlauea’s surface is made up of rock that is less than 1,000 years old. It’s on the southeastern flank of Mauna Loa but has its own magma plumbing system, so it’s a separate volcano. This shield volcano is one of the world’s most active.
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