runny, low viscosity lava
sides slope at 15 degrees or less
(resembles a Roman shield lying on the ground, hence its name)
characterized by relatively quiet eruptions with lava flows
relatively little explosive activity
Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii, a shield volcano, as viewed from the summit of Kilauea, about 33 miles to
Mauna Loa, on the Big Island of Hawaii, is the largest active volcano in the
world. It last erupted in 1984. Mauna Loa erupted 14 times in the 20th
Century, and 37 times since 1832. Mauna Loa is the most massive mountain
on Earth, rising to an elevation of 13,677 feet above sea level, or 31,677 feet
above the sea floor. Its volume is 10,000 miles
mountain on Earth is located nearby, also on the Big Island of
Hawaii. It is Mauna Kea, rising to an elevation of 13,796 feet above sea level,
or 31,796 feet above the sea floor.
Both Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are shield volcanoes.
In comparison, Mt. Everest (in the Himalayas), the highest
point on Earth
above sea level, rises to an elevation of 8848 m (or 29,028 ft). Mt. Everest is
NOT a volcano, however.
largest volcano in the Solar System
is also a shield volcano. It is
located on the planet Mars. Its name is Olympus Mons (or Mount Olympus),
and it is three times as high as the largest volcanoes on Earth (nearly 27 km
high). It is about 100 times as massive as one of the Hawaiian volcanoes.
relatively small (less than 300 m or 1000 ft high)
relatively steep slopes (30 - 40 degrees)
made of pyroclastic material