Ocean Cooled Volcanoes

Which formed first: the Pacific Ocean or the Hawaiian Mauna Loa volcano?

Earth Scientists believe the Pacific Ocean was “born” 750 million years ago even though they also claim the oldest Pacific Ocean floor is 180 million years old.

The Pacific Ocean was born 750 million years ago at the breakup of Rodinia, although it is generally called the Panthalassa until the breakup of Pangea, about 200 million years ago. The oldest Pacific Ocean floor is only around 180 Ma old, with older crust subducted by now.

Wikipedia – Pacific Ocean

Earth Scientists believe the Mauna Loa volcano has “been erupting for at least 700,000 years” even though they claim it’s dated rocks are “not older than 200,000 years”.

Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes that form the Island of Hawaii in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi in the Pacific Ocean.

The largest subaerial volcano in both mass and volume, Mauna Loa has historically been considered the largest volcano on Earth, dwarfed only by Tamu Massif. It is an active shield volcano with relatively gentle slopes, with a volume estimated at approximately 18,000 cubic miles (75,000 km3), although its peak is about 125 feet (38 m) lower than that of its neighbor, Mauna Kea. Lava eruptions from Mauna Loa are silica-poor and very fluid, and they tend to be non-explosive.

Mauna Loa has probably been erupting for at least 700,000 years, and may have emerged above sea level about 400,000 years ago.

The oldest-known dated rocks are not older than 200,000 years.

Wikipedia – Mauna Loa

Taken together:

Earth Scientists believe the Pacific Ocean is many millions of years older than Mauna Loa and speculate the volcano “emerged” from the waves 400,000 years ago.

USGS – Hawaii’s Volcanoes Revealed – 2003
Barry W Eakins, Joel E Robinson, Toshiya Kanamatsu, Jiro Naka, John R Smith, Eiichi Takahashi, and David A Clague


Mauna Loa has probably been erupting for at least 700,000 years, and may have emerged above sea level about 400,000 years ago.

Wikipedia – Mauna Loa

These beliefs are enshrined in the Hawaiian Volcano Life Cycle narrative.

Hawaiian volcanoes follow a well-established life cycle of growth and erosion.

The first stage is the submarine preshield stage, currently represented solely by Lōʻihi Seamount. During this stage, the volcano builds height through increasingly frequent eruptions. The sea’s pressure prevents explosive eruptions. The cold water quickly solidifies the lava, producing the pillow lava that is typical of underwater volcanic activity.

The summit eventually breaches the surface, and the lava and ocean water “battle” for control as the volcano enters the explosive subphase. This stage of development is exemplified by explosive steam vents. This stage produces mostly volcanic ash, a result of the waves dampening the lava.

Now the volcano puts on 95% of its above-water height over roughly 500,000 years.

Thereafter eruptions become much less explosive.

Hawaiian lava is often runny, blocky, slow, and relatively easy to predict; the USGS tracks where it is most likely to run, and maintains a tourist site for viewing the lava.

After the subaerial phase the volcano enters a series of postshield stages involving subsidence and erosion, becoming an atoll and eventually a seamount.

Wikipedia – Hawaii Hotspot

However, it’s doubtful the Hawaiian Volcano Life Cycle is totally accurate because the peak to floor slope of Mauna Loa is consistent with it’s air cooled slope.

Wikipedia – Hawaii Hotspot

The water cooled sea-level bulge [that’s superimposed upon the air cooled slope] suggests Mauna Loa is older than the Pacific Ocean.

The suggestion that Mauna Loa is older than the Pacific Ocean is supported by the series of “old shorelines” between Māhukona and Kohala volcanoes in the North of Hawaii.


Māhukona is a submerged shield volcano on the northwestern flank of the Island of Hawaiʻi. A drowned coral reef at about 3,770 feet (-1,150 m) below sea level and a major break in slope at about 4,400 feet (-1,340 m) below sea level represent old shorelines.

Wikipedia – Māhukona

Kohala is the oldest of five volcanoes that make up the island of Hawaii. Kohala is an estimated one million years old—so old that it experienced, and recorded, the reversal of earth’s magnetic field 780,000 years ago. It is believed to have breached sea level more than 500,000 years ago and to have last erupted 120,000 years ago.

Kohala was devastated by a massive landslide between 250,000 and 300,000 years before present. Debris from the slide was found on the ocean floor up to 130 km (81 mi) away from the volcano. Twenty kilometers wide at the shoreline, the landslide cut back to the summit of the volcano, and is partially, if not largely, responsible for the volcano losing 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in height since then. The famous sea cliffs of the windward Kohala shoreline stand as evidence of the massive geologic disaster, and mark the topmost part of the debris from this ancient landslide. There are also several other unique features found on the volcano, all marks made by the decimating collapse.

Wikipedia – Kohala (mountain)

Malaga Bay – Antipodal Hotspots and Bipolar Catastrophes

Earth Scientists imply these “old shorelines” formed as the Māhukona volcano ”subsided” [by at least 1,590 metres] whilst the Kohala volcano was similarly “sinking”.

Māhukona is a submerged shield volcano on the northwestern flank of the Island of Hawaiʻi. A drowned coral reef at about 3,770 feet (-1,150 m) below sea level and a major break in slope at about 4,400 feet (-1,340 m) below sea level represent old shorelines.

The summit of the shield volcano was once 800 feet (250 m) above sea level.

It has now subsided below sea level.

Wikipedia – Māhukona

The mysterious marine fossils found on the base of the Kohala volcano in Hawaii were apparently deposited there over a 100,000 years ago by a colossal tsunami, nearly half a kilometre high, that swept inland for 6 kilometres.

The volcano has actually been sinking by about 2.6 millimetres per year over the past 475,000 years, which means the marine fossils were deposited at a height of about 500 metres – well out of reach of storms and way above the sea level at the time.

Hawaiian tsunami left a gift at foot of volcano
New Scientist (2464): 14 – 2004-09-11


Independent observers should review the evidence and decide for themselves whether the “old shorelines” of Northern Hawaii were formed by:

1) The rising level of the Pacific Ocean

and / or

2) The supposed subsidence and sinking of Hawaiian volcanoes.

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