Mauna Loa: Waking up?

Map of lava flows at Mauna Loa since 1832.  Hilo is at the bottom center.  (USGS)

Map of lava flows at Mauna Loa since 1832. Hilo is at the bottom center. (USGS)

We’ve looked at Mauna Loa before. Now, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s Volcano Watch has an interesting article called “Mauna Loa—A Stirring Giant?” Check it out!

Here’s an excerpt:

After a 30-year repose, Mauna Loa may be slowly stirring to life. While there are no signs of impending eruption, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) has recorded an increased level of seismic activity on the flanks and summit of Mauna Loa over the past 13 months…The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to monitor Mauna Loa for signs of an impending eruption. The likelihood of detecting a short-term change in activity that would lead to a successful eruption forecast is enhanced with a quality geophysical network that can monitor changes in earthquake occurrence, ground deformation and gas chemistry both in the summit and rift zones of Mauna Loa. For more information of the activity at Mauna Loa or any other Hawaiian volcano, see

What eruption could be like

See “Living in the Shadow of Mauna Loa.” (h/t to Erik Klemetti)

Here’s what an eruption at Mauna Loa looked like in the 1930s. (Of note, the full United States Geological Survey film can also be seen here.)

The USGS calls it:

[A] remarkable silent film, 16mm Kodachrome movie film. Probably the first color film ever made of a volcanic eruption. Mokuaweoweo Crater eruption filmed probably in late 1935 by Harold T. Stearns, a USGS Hydrologist-Volcanologist. The lava fountains are hundreds of feet high, the erupting fissure inside the crater is about two thousand feet long. The crater floor is at an elevation of 13,100′ ASL [above sea level].

Categories: volcanoes

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