Mauna Loa: Quiet for Many Years, But Not to be Forgotten
ʻAʻā lava flows erupt from the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa on March 25, 1984—the first day of the volcano’s most recent eruption. (USGS photo.)
The following is this week’s edition of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory‘s Volcano Watch:
Over the past few months, Mauna Loa, Hawaiʻi Island’s largest volcano, has shown subtle signs of stirring from its 31-year-long slumber (its most recent eruption began on March 25, 1984). The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) has recorded numerous small earthquakes beneath Mauna Loa’s summit and western flank, and has detected slight expansion across Mokuʻāweoweo, the volcano’s summit caldera—signals that Mauna Loa should not be forgotten!
What can we expect as this great volcano reawakens and builds toward its next eruption?
Generally, as magma rises and eventually infiltrates and fills Mauna Loa’s summit magma reservoir, pressure builds within the volcano. When sufficient pressure is achieved, the volcano expands…
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