Kalaekilohana rests on the side of Mauna Loa Volcano at 1700 feet above sea level. Mauna Loa is a shield volcano that erupts through a hot spot the passes through a pacific plate. It does have the potential to explode, but tends to erupt basalt lava flows that are very fluid and have less ash. It erupted 33 times from the 1700’s until 1983. It was, until very recently, the largest know volcanic mass in the world. The recent discovery of a larger shield volcano on the ocean floor is still being confirmed.
Osorno Volcano rests in the Los Lagos Region of Chile and is a product of the tectonic forces of the South American Plate moving over the Nazca Plate. It is about 8000 feet above sea level, but is relatively small in it’s distance from it’s foot to it’s summit. It erupted 11 times from the 1700’s until 1869 and has not erupted since. It is a stratovolcano that has a high viscosity lava which is more likely to produce high amounts of ash and silica. It looks very much like Mount Fuji.
One year ago and a very short distance from the Fox Hill Bed and Breakfast where we were staying, Calbuca Volcano erupted. It is a stratovolcano that is also an andesite volcano, which cna be highly explosive and contains at large amount of silicon dioxide. From the bed and breakfast you can look at the summit and the large fields of ash that remain uncleared above them. Our hosts evacuated within about 15 minutes of seeing the eruption, which lasted just 90 minutes but sent ash 5 miles into the air. They were able to snap a couple of amazing photos and returned several days later to 6 inches of a gravel-like ash covering their property and their house. It took them many months of work to clear the house, yard, and pastures. Fortunately, the house sustained minimal damage.
This is a very different volcanic world than what we know in Hawaii.