Mauna Loa is the largest volcano on earth and one of five volcanoes that form the Island of Hawaii in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi in the Pacific Ocean. It is an activeshield volcano, with a volume estimated at approximately 18,000 cubic miles (75,000 km³), although its peak is about 120 feet (37 m) lower than that of its neighbor, Mauna Kea. The Hawaiian name "Mauna Loa" means "Long Mountain". The Lava eruptions from Mauna Loa are silica-poor, thus very fluid: and as a result eruptions tend to be non-explosive and the volcano has extremely shallow slopes. The volcano has probably been erupting for at least 700,000 years and may have emerged above sea level about 400,000 years ago, although the oldest-known dated rocks do not extend beyond 200,000 years. Its magma comes from the Hawaii hotspot, which has been responsible for the creation of the Hawaiian island chain for tens of millions of years. The slow drift of the Pacific Plate will eventually carry the volcano away from the hotspot, and the volcano will thus become extinct within 500,000 to one million years from now. Mauna Loa's most recent eruption occurred from March 24, 1984, to April 15, 1984. No recent eruptions of the volcano have caused fatalities, but eruptions in 1926 and 1950 destroyed villages, and the city of Hilo is partly built on lava flows from the late nineteenth century.
He published many studies on the volcanoes of California, but is most noted for his "The Geology of Crater Lake National Park" in which he recognized the nature of the collapse of the crater and extended the work to develop the principles of volcanic caldera formation. He did extensive early work on the geology of Central America (often sketch-mapping from the windows of second-class buses), and of the Galapagos Islands. In Latin America, Williams put to good use his early background in archeology. For instance, he used petrographic techniques to trace the origin of stone used in the giant Olmec sculptures of La Venta, Tabasco Mexico.
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