On a recent visit to Washington DC, Andy and I enjoyed a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Of course my Hawaii radar triggered onto red alert when I saw an exhibit on volcanoes with Hawaii in the spot light. It’s a very nice exhibit on volcanoes that even shows examples of a’a and pahoehoe lava.
We took the above photo from the museum exhibit. The image shows how Hawaii’s Big Island is shaped today (left) compared to how it might look in the distant future with the volcano Loihi merging (right). Loihi is currently erupting under the Pacific Ocean. According to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s Web site “Loihi, a submarine volcano, is 15 miles (24 km) southeast of the island and 3,178 feet (969 m) below sea level. Loihi will probably not reach sea level before 250,000 years or more.” So, I wouldn’t start planning that oceanfront home on the Loihi coast just yet.