Mauna Loa Shield, Hawaii

photo of Mauna Loa Shield, Hawaii

Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii, measured from its 4170 meter-high summit to its base nearly 5000 meters below sea level, is one of the highest mountains on Earth. Although only 19.5 degrees north of the equator, snow often covers its higher slopes in winter. Notice how gently the slopes rise on this great mountain. That is typical of shield volcanoes, in contrast with the steep slopes of stratovolcanoes like Mount Fuji in Japan.

Photo copyright R.W. Decker.

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