Mauna Kea

Satellite image Mauna Kea (top) and Mauna Loa ( below)


The volcano Mauna Kea ( Hawaiian for White Mountain ) is about 4205 m the highest mountain in Hawaii.


The Mauna Kea is of volcanic origin. From seabed about 6,000 feet below the surface to the top of it is over 10,000 feet high. Since he is bagged because of its high weight in the seabed, the actual base of the mountain below the seabed. From the foot to the summit of Mauna Kea is over 17,000 feet high.

Mauna Kea and the other volcanoes on Hawaii, Mauna Loa, Kīlauea Hualālai and are developed over a hotspot, transported to the rising from the deep mantle hot Aufströme called Plumes, material up to the surface. In the case of Hawaii, the region was about to move slowly with the Pacific lithospheric plate by plate tectonics, creating a whole chain of volcanic islands were formed from the Aleutian Islands to the present day in the Pacific at a distance of many millions of years.

Unlike its neighbor Mauna Loa of Mauna Kea is not currently active and is considered a dormant volcano. Its age is estimated at one million years, the oldest stones found were dated to slightly more than 200,000 years. The last active phase with at least seven outbreaks took place before about 6000 to 4000 years ago. There were previously quiescent phases with a longer duration than 4500 years so far is not necessarily the current long dormancy a sign of an extinct volcano.

Since 2002, a deep drilling project runs on the volcano. By examining the sponsored rock samples from the interior of the volcano would like to gain further knowledge about the Earth's interior.


On Mauna Kea Mauna Kea, the Observatory, a group of international observatories, which together form the largest observatory in the world is. Below that is including the Keck Observatory with its two 10 - meter mirrors, which are currently among the most powerful telescopes worldwide.

As the telescopes are very sensitive to changes in position of the substrate, a typical swelling of the mountain would be registered immediately as a sign of incipient activity again.