Posts Tagged With: Hawaii’s Mauna Loa
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Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano, the world’s largest active volcano, began erupting on November 27th after a dormant period of 36 years, joining nearby Kilauea which has been erupting for over a year. According to Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency, lava has been observed overflowing into the southwest portion of the Mauna Loa caldera. This new volcanic activity follows a series of earthquakes that had been occurring near Puu Oo in Kilauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone over the past few weeks. This area was also where a massive eruption occurred in 2018 that destroyed 700 homes and filled some areas with molten rock and steam. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Mauna Loa stands over 13,000 feet above sea level. Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times since 1843. It last erupted in 1984, sending lava flows up to 8 miles long into the sea.
The current eruption has not yet posed any significant danger to local residents, but officials remain vigilant as they monitor seismic activity around the mountain. If a major eruption were to occur, lava flows could reach populated areas and create serious public safety issues for those living nearby.
Mauna Loa is also noteworthy for its size, rising gradually to more than 4 km (2.5 mi) above sea level. Its submarine flanks descend to the sea floor an additional 5 km (3 mi), and the sea floor, in turn, is depressed by Mauna Loa’s great mass another 8 km (5 mi). This makes the volcano’s summit about 17 km (10.5 mi) above its base
Due to its huge size and potential for destruction, scientists have been studying Mauna Loa since 1912 with the help of modern monitoring equipment such as seismographs and tiltmeters. So far, tourists are still able to visit many places near Mauna Loa without having to worry too much about their safety; however, authorities recommend keeping away from any active lava flows or other hazardous materials associated with volcanic activity just in case things get more dangerous.