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Dormant volcano, north-central Hawaii island, Hawaii, U.S. Rising to 13,796 ft (4,205 m), it is the highest point in the state and is the chief feature of a state park occupying 500 acres (202 hectares). Its name means white mountain, referring to its snowcapped peak. Its dome is 30 mi (48 km) across and is the site of a major astronomical observatory. The volcano's lava flows have buried the southern slopes of the Kohala Mountains to the northwest, and its own western and southern slopes are covered with lava from its neighbour, Mauna Loa.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Mauna Kea, visit Britannica.com.