In front of you looms the world's largest active volcano
The summit of Mauna Loa stands 20 miles ahead of you, reaching an elevation of 13,677 feet above sea level and more that 31,000 feet above the ocean floor. With a volume of 10,000 cubic miles, Mauna Loa is the largest mountain on Earth.
The volcano's great mass is being built by successive flows of hot molten rock, or lava. The thickness of an individual lava flow averages 12 feet. Mauna Loa is classified as a shield volcano, a volcano with gently-sloping sides resembling a warriors's shield overturned. Kilauea, the volcano you are now standing on, is also a shield volcano.
It has taken hundreds of centuries and countless eruptions for Mauna Loa to reach its present size. During the last 100 years , the volcano has erupted more than 18 times, The next eruption could occur at any time.