The Island of Hawaiʻi is the largest U.S. Hawaiian Island, and it is the farthest south. It is also called the "Big Island." Its area is 4,038 sq. miles (10,458 km2). The widest part of the island is 93 miles (150 km) across. The Big Island has more than half (~62%) of the total land area of State of Hawaii. It is part of County of Hawaii.
The island is seven separate shield volcanos that erupted more or less one at a time, one partly covering the other. These are (from oldest to youngest): Kohala (extinct), Mauna Kea (dormant), Hualalai (dormant), Mauna Loa (active), Kulani (extinct, mostly buried), and Kilauea (very active). The volcanos were caused by the Pacific oceanic tectonic plate moving over a hotspot. There lava from the Earth's lower mantle or upper core is close to the surface.
The largest city on the island is Hilo. Hilo has many historic buildings, interesting shops, parks, many performances, festivals and events. It is on the rainy, east side of the island. The city of Kailua-Kona is on the dry, west side of Hawaii, and is popular with tourists.
- MacDonald, G. A., and A. T. Abbott. 1970. Volcanoes in the Sea. Univ. of Hawaii Press, Honolulu. 441 p.
- History and culture of Hilo. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.hiloliving.com/Hilo_Culture.html