Since the dawn of human history, volcanoes have captured our attention. Eruptions create dramatic tableaus of ash clouds and lava flows, often with cataclysmic impacts. But even today, we still know little about the mechanics of eruptions and what triggers them.
The 3D map below from Craig McCabe at Esri peels back the geology and topography of Mauna Loa. Spurred by the 2022 eruption, the map shows different views inside and underneath this active volcano and the big island of Hawaii.
The map uses a few tricks to focus attention on the geologic processes of Mauna Loa and its home island. The use of 3D with historic lava flows and topography shows how volcanoes have shaped the island. Cross-section views reveal subsurface geology. Mapping earthquakes at their detected depths underscores relationships between seismic activity and eruptions.
Maps can take us to places or show us things we wouldn’t normally be able to see. This map does both, letting us explore one of the most seismically active places on the planet.
More to Explore
Check out this stunning interactive map from National Park Service—Hawaii Volcanoes National Park with video and imagery from Mauna Loa’s 2022 eruption.