Lava Flows in Google Earth

Lava Flows of  Mauna Loa in Google EarthThe screenshot you see here is depicting lava flows from Kilauea Volcano Mauna Loa in Hawaii. The flows exposed are colored differently and marked according to the year of the flow as analyzed by scientists. Download the lava flow file to see it yourself. If you hold the Control key and click on one of the flows with the mouse in GE you will see the year of that portion of the flow (a ‘0’ means unknown). It’s interesting to compare the lava flow dataset to the satellite/aerial photos in GE. This 3D model was posted by a Google Earth Community member called ‘KASSPER’ who apparently is a GIS professional. The Control-key click technique is a good way to annotate models like this. KASSPER has produced other interesting applications like the Wikipedia search tool.
[EDIT 3:30PM: A reader contacted me to let me know the flows came from Kilauea Volcano, not Mauna Loa. Thanks John!]

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. The lava flows depicted in the KML file and the photo that accompanies this post are from the East Rift Zone (Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha vents) of Kilauea, not Mauna Loa. For more info on Hawaiian volcanoes and current eruption status check out the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

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