Mauna Loa: The world’s largest active volcano erupts in Hawaii
Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on Earth, has erupted for the first time in nearly four decades.
The eruption on the state’s Big Island began at about 11:30 p.m. local time on Sunday at Mokuaweoweo, the caldera at the top of the volcano, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Images from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) webcams at the summit captured lava fountains spewing from a long fissure and spreading across the floor of the caldera.
The USGS said the lava flows were initially in the summit area and pose no threat to the communities’ downward slope, but there are fears this could change.
At 7:43 a.m. ET on Monday, USGS said that “there is currently no indication of any migration from the eruption to a rift zone.”
The eruption has also spawned dozens of earthquakes measuring more than 2.5 on the Richter scale, including one measuring 4.2.
The local NWS chapter issued an ashfall warning warning that “winds could carry volcanic gas and possibly fine ash and Pele’s hair downwind.”
Watch: The world’s largest active volcano erupts in Hawaii for the first time in nearly 40 years
Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano in the world, has erupted for the first time in nearly 40 years.
Footage shows the sky glowing red as the volcano erupted on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Dozens of earthquakes, some measuring more than 2.5 on the Richter scale, were triggered by the eruption.
The last eruption at Mauna Loa occurred in 1984.
Mauno Loa: The world’s largest active volcano erupts for the first time in nearly 40 years
Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano in the world, has erupted for the first time in nearly 40 years. Footage shows the sky glowing red as the volcano erupted on the Big Island of Hawaii. The National Weather Service (NWS) said the eruption began at 11:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, Nov. 27. Dozens of earthquakes, some measuring more than 2.5 on the Richter scale, were triggered by the eruption. The last eruption at Mauna Loa occurred in 1984. Click here to sign up for our newsletters.
Oliver O’ConnellNov 29, 2022 4:50 AM
What happens now?
Every eruption since 1843 started at the top of Mauna Loa. Half the time, the volcano later started erupting from vents at lower elevations as well. The other half of the time, it only erupted in the summit caldera.
Scientists can’t predict when and where Mauna Loa will open new vents and erupt.
Vents generally form along the volcano’s rift zone. That’s where the mountain splits apart, the rock is cracked and relatively weak and it’s easier for magma to emerge.
An eruption of vents in the southwest rift zone could impact residential communities, coffee farms or coastal villages on the west side of the island. Lava can reach homes in just hours or days.
The most populous city on the west side would be protected from any eruption of Mauna Loa by the presence of another active volcano. The broad flanks of that volcano, Hualalai, lie between the southwestern rift zone of Mauna Loa and Kailua-Kona and would block any lava heading toward the coastal community.
An eruption from the northeastern rift zone could send lava into the county seat of Hilo or other towns in eastern Hawaii. It can take weeks or months for lava to reach populated areas on this side of the mountain.
Scott Rowland, a geologist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said there is no pattern when it comes to where an eruption will occur.
“Just because the last one was in the northeastern rift zone doesn’t mean the next one will be in the southwestern rift zone,” he said.
Oliver O’ConnellNovember 29, 2022 3:50 AM
Why doesn’t Mauna Loa erupt like neighbor Kilauea
Kilauea is known for a 2018 eruption that destroyed 700 homes and sent lava flows over farms and into the ocean. The Mauna Loa eruption is different.
Mauna Loa’s eruptions differ from Kilauea’s in part because they are larger. The higher elevation creates steeper slopes, allowing lava to flow off the hills faster than Kilauea’s.
Its massive size allows it to store more magma, leading to larger lava flows when an eruption occurs.
Frank Trusdell, a research geologist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, which is part of the U.S. Geological Survey, said data indicates Mauna Loa has a much larger magma reservoir than Kilauea, potentially allowing it to hold more lava and rest longer between eruptions than Kilauea. .
Oliver O’ConnellNovember 29, 2022 02:50 AM
Seven weeks ago: National park closes access to Mauna Loa due to increased seismic activity
In early October, national park authorities closed off Mauna Loa’s summit as a precautionary measure “due to increased seismic activity.”
Shweta Sharma volunteered The independent at the time.
Oliver O’ConnellNovember 29, 2022 1:50 AM
Where is Mauna Loa located?
Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes that make up the Big Island of Hawaii, the southernmost island of the Hawaiian archipelago. It’s not the tallest (that title goes to Mauna Kea) but it’s the largest, taking up about half of the island’s landmass.
It is located immediately north of Kilauea volcano, which is currently erupting from the summit crater. Kilauea is known for a 2018 eruption that destroyed 700 homes and sent lava flows over farms and into the ocean.
Mauna Loa last erupted 38 years ago. In its recorded history, dating back to 1843, it has erupted 33 times.
The Big Island is largely rural and is home to cattle ranches, coffee farms, and beach resorts. It is about 200 miles south of Hawaii’s most populous island, Oahu, which is home to both the capital Honolulu and the beach resort of Waikiki.
Oliver O’ConnellNovember 29, 2022 00:50
Southwest Airlines Cancels Hilo Flights After Outburst
Southwest Airlines has canceled at least 10 flights to and from Hilo Airport on the Big Island due to the Mauna Loa eruption.
The company said in a statement: “The volcanic ash advisory has prompted Southwest to adjust our operation within Hawaii today and we will continue to notify customers with reservations for flights impacted by delays or a cancellation. We have suspended operations in Hilo today, affecting a total of 10 inter-island departures on the route between Honolulu and Hilo alone, and we will make further adjustments as necessary.”
A waiver is offered for customers flying to, from or within Hawaii to change their reservation without fare changes. The exemption applies to bookings on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Aviation officials continue to closely monitor the situation.
Oliver O’ConnellNovember 28, 2022 11:50 PM
A month ago: Hawaii’s Big Island is alerted as massive volcano rumbles
Authorities warned Hawaii residents to prepare a month ago…
Hawaii Officials warn residents of the Big Island that the world’s largest active volcano, Mauna Loasends out signals that it may erupt.
While an eruption is not imminent, scientists are on high alert because of a recent spike in earthquakes at the volcano’s summit. Experts say it only takes a few hours for lava to reach homes closest to the volcano, which last erupted in 1984.
Oliver O’ConnellNovember 28, 2022 10:50 PM
Mauna Loa: What You Need to Know
Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes that make up the Big Island of Hawaii, the southernmost island of the Hawaiian archipelago.
Standing at 4,169 feet above sea level, Mauna Loa is Kilauea’s much larger neighbor, which erupted into a residential area in 2018, destroying 700 homes. Some slopes are much steeper than Kilauea’s, so lava can flow much faster when it erupts.
During an eruption in 1950, lava from the mountain traveled 15 miles to the ocean in less than three hours.
This is what is happening at Mauna Loa right now.
Oliver O’ConnellNov 28, 2022 10:20 PM
Eruption shifts to rift zone
The U.S. Geological Survey said the eruption had migrated to a rift zone — a place where the mountain rock is cracked and relatively weak — making it easier for magma to surface.
An eruption from the zone could send lava to the county seat of Hilo or other cities in eastern Hawaii, but it could take weeks or months for the lava to reach populated areas.
“We don’t want to try to second-guess the volcano,” said Ken Hon, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s scientist in charge. “We need to show it to us what it’s going to do and then we’ll inform people about what’s happening as soon as possible.”
Hawaii County Civil Defense announced it had opened shelters as it had reports of people evacuating on their own initiative along the coast.
Mauna Loa’s average eruption typically doesn’t last long, lasting a few weeks, Hon said.
“Usually Mauna Loa eruptions start with heaviest volume first,” said Mr. Hon. “After a few days things start to calm down a bit.”
Oliver O’ConnellNovember 28, 2022 9:50 PM
In photos: lava flow in caldera of volcano
Oliver O’ConnellNov 28, 2022 9:20 PM