This is a view looking up the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa, which was the site of the most recent eruption of this volcano in March 1984. The summit caldera can just be seen. The line crossing the numerous lava flows half way up the volcano is the access road to the Mauna Loa weather observatory.
During the most recent eruption of Mauna Loa, which took place in 1984, there were several long lobes of lava that extended well towards the town of Hilo. Fortunately, none reached the town, but as we can see here they destroyed quite a bit of rain forest. Photo by Scott Rowland.
From almost directly overhead, the lava flows from the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa diverge towards Hilo (towards the top of this image) or towards Kona (towards bottom left).
This view shows the northeast portion of the summit caldera of Mauna Loa volcano. Notice some of the fractures (dark lines) that cut the dark a'a lava flows. We can also see that the caldera rim has been cut several times by the formation of small pit craters.
Another view of the northeast flank of Mauna Loa volcano, again showing the access road to the weather observatory. This set of lava flows has been studied in detail using thermal infrared data from the TIMS instrument.
This is a view of the northern rim of the large nested craters at the summit of Mauna Loa volcano.
Copyright by P. Mouginis-Mark