The Newest Hawaiian Island is Being Created Right Now. It’s Called Lo’ihi.

Jul 30, 2019 | General Information

The next Hawaiian island is being formed right now and is expected to make its debut on the world stage in (perhaps) tens of thousands of years. The island already even has a name, Lo’ihi. It is located about 20 miles to the southeast of Kilauea volcano on the Big Island. At this point in time it has risen about 10,000′ above the ocean floor but it is still 3000′ below the ocean surface. On average the Hawaiian volcanoes tend to grow approximately one inch a year so it will probably be some time before we can put an umbrella out on a beach on Lo’ihi and enjoy a MaiTai.

Volcanologists have recently been paying a lot of attention to Lo’ihi. For years they thought this was a non-active seamount of the variety that surround the Hawaiian chain but in the 70’s they became aware of a swarm of earthquake activity that was generated from the region. Hundreds of earthquakes were recorded and some of them were so strong as to be felt on the Puna district of the Big Island. After focusing their attention on all the seismic activity in the area they were then able to determine that this was the newest island being formed in the Hawaiian Islands. Further investigation even revealed a caldera at the current summit of Lo’ihi and various lava samples have even been collected from the site showing that the volcanic activity there was very recent.