Hazard Notification System (HANS) for Volcanoes
USGS Volcano Notice - DOI-USGS-HVO-2022-12-11T09:58:17-08:00
HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Sunday, December 11, 2022, 9:28 AM HST (Sunday, December 11, 2022, 19:28 UTC)
MAUNA LOA (VNUM #332020)
19°28'30" N 155°36'29" W, Summit Elevation 13681 ft (4170 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
The Northeast Rift Zone eruption of Mauna Loa may still be active. Incandescence is restricted to the cone that formed around the fissure 3 vent, there was no observable activity anywhere on the rest of the flow field overnight.
As of 7:00 a.m. today, December 11, the M8 webcam shows very little incandescence and no lava movement in the F3 vent. The channels below the vent appear drained of lava and no longer feed the main flow front.
The inactive main flow front has stagnated about 1.7 mi (2.8 km) from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road) when last measured yesterday morning, December 10. The inactive main flow front still glows at a few spots at night and may inch northward very slowly as it continues to settle.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates continue to be reduced; on December 9, the emission rate was approximately 20,000 tonnes per day (t/d). The Hawaii Interagency Vog Information Dashboard has detailed information about vog: https://vog.ivhhn.org/. Forecasts for the dispersion of vog can be found on the VMAP Vog Forecast Dashboard: http://weather.hawaii.edu/vmap/new/.
Tremor (a signal associated with subsurface fluid movement) is no longer detectable; summit and Northeast Rift Zone inflation started on December 7 and is continuing.
The significance of the continuing inflation while the flow field is inactive is not yet clear; it is common for eruptions to wax and wane or pause completely, but none of the eight recorded eruptions from Mauna Loa’s Northeast Rift Zone returned to high eruption rates after those rates decreased significantly. Nevertheless, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to closely monitor the current activity.
There is no active lava within Moku'āweoweo caldera nor in either rift zone. Satellite imagery shows the entire 2022 flow field cooling and no longer active.
Most recent eruption map: https://www.usgs.gov/media/images/most-recent-mauna-loa-northeast-rift-zone-eruption-map
Information on lava viewing: https://hawaii-county-volcano-hazards-hawaiicountygis.hub.arcgis.com/
Residents with questions about emergency response and resources that may be available to assist those at risk should consult https://hawaii-county-civil-defense-agency-hawaiicountygis.hub.arcgis.com/.
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has closed the Mauna Loa Road from Kīpukapuaulu and the closure extends to the summit caldera; for more information please see https://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm.
HVO Daily Updates on the status of Mauna Loa activity will be posted on the HVO web site at: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/volcano-updates
You can receive these updates via email by subscribing to the free Volcano Notification Service at: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns/.
Questions can be emailed to askHVO@usgs.gov.
- Mauna Loa activity summary also available by phone: (808) 967-8866
- Mauna Loa webcam images: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/webcams
- Mauna Loa photos/video: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/photo-and-video-chronology-mauna-loa
- Mauna Loa maps: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/maps
- Mauna Loa FAQs: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/frequently-asked-questions-about-mauna-loa-volcano
- Recent Volcano Watch on Mauna Loa: https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/news/volcano-watch-mauna-loa-reawakens-0
- Map-based webpage for Mauna Loa: https://geonarrative.usgs.gov/maunaloa/
- Additional Mauna Loa Resources: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/prepare-mauna-loa-resources
Air quality/volcanic gas plume (fissure eruption): High levels of volcanic gas, including sulfur dioxide (SO2) , are emitted from the fissure vents. As SO2 is released from the eruption, it will react in the atmosphere with oxygen, sunlight, moisture, and other gases and particles and within hours to days, convert to fine particles. The particles scatter sunlight and cause the visible haze, known as vog (volcanic air pollution, from “volcanic smog”). Vog creates the potential for airborne health hazards to residents and visitors, damages agricultural crops and other plants, and affects livestock operations.
Lava flows: Hawaiian lava flows generally advance slowly enough that people can avoid them. They can destroy everything in their paths, including vegetation and infrastructure—which can cut off road access and utilities. Hazards associated with active or recent lava flows include hot and glassy (sharp) surfaces that can cause severe burns, abrasions, and lacerations upon contact with unprotected or exposed skin; uneven and rough terrain can lead to falls and other injuries; hot temperatures that can cause heat exhaustion or dehydration, or in heavy rain can produce steamy ground-fog that can be acidic, severely limiting visibility and sometimes causing difficulty breathing.
Tephra fall: Pele's hair and other lightweight volcanic glass fragments from lava fountains and spattering will fall downwind, dusting the ground within a few hundred meters (yards) of the vent. High winds may waft lighter particles and transport them greater distances downwind. These particles are sharp and can irritate the skin and eyes and could be respiratory health hazard.
Secondary hazards: Lava flow advance into vegetated areas may generate secondary hazards by igniting small fires in vegetation adjacent to lava flow margins. Lava flows that cover and burn vegetation and soil also introduce the hazard of subsurface natural gas pockets igniting, which can cause methane explosions. These explosions can blast lava fragments up to several meters (yards) away and can be hazardous to observers.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is one of five volcano observatories within the U.S. Geological Survey and is responsible for monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes in Hawaiʻi and American Samoa.
Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/
Summary of volcanic hazards from eruptions: https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/hazards
Recent earthquakes in Hawaiʻi (map and list): https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo
Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes: https://www.usgs.gov/programs/VHP/volcanic-alert-levels-characterize-conditions-us-volcanoes