This view of the west coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, taken from the space shuttle, shows the entire 50-kilometer length of the 1859 lava flow from Mauna Loa volcano. This is one of the largest lava flows in the world that has been erupted in historic times. The eruption occurred at the 11,000-foot elevation level (close to the summit at right), lasted about 200 days, and produced a pahoehoe and a’a lava flow that traveled all the way to the coast (left). Although one of the largest young lava flows on Earth, the Mauna Loa flow is small compared to most of the flows seen on Mars (slide #6), Io (slide #7), and Venus (slide #8).
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