The Future Bigger Island of Hawaii


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 siteLoihi, 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.

About Sheila Beal

Sheila Beal is the founder and editor of Go Visit Hawaii. You can connect with Sheila Beal on Twitter, Go Visit Hawaii on Facebook, or Sheila Beal on Google+.


  1. I guess I won’t be purchasing any more beachfront property on the southeast end of the Big Island anymore. 🙂

  2. Hi Chris – 0h yeah, might want to back off those purchases. 😉

  3. I think that’s so cool, the fact that the Big Island is still growing… I wonder how many millenia before we can go visit. 🙂

  4. @ Jim – the Big Island seems to take pride and a mission from its name. Someone should tell it that its already bigger than all the other islands put together — maybe then it won’t feel the pressure to get bigger. 😛

  5. Hahaha yeah, considering how geology works, it looks like they already have that locked down so… guess they’re just going for more tourism spots.

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