Alert Level: ADVISORY, Color Code: YELLOW
2020-05-21 19:51:02 UTC
HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Thursday, May 21, 2020, 9:51 AM HST (Thursday, May 21, 2020, 19:51 UTC)
MAUNA LOA VOLCANO (VNUM #332020)
19°28'30" N 155°36'29" W, Summit Elevation 13681 ft (4170 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Activity Summary: Mauna Loa Volcano is not erupting. Rates of deformation and seismicity have not changed significantly over the past week and remain above long-term background levels.
During the past week, HVO seismometers recorded 63 small-magnitude earthquakes on the volcano's summit and upper-elevation flanks. Most of these earthquakes occurred at shallow depths of less than 8 kilometers (~5 miles) below sea level.
Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements show long-term slowly increasing summit inflation, consistent with magma supply to the volcano's shallow storage system.
Gas concentrations at the Sulphur Cone monitoring site on the Southwest Rift Zone remain stable. Fumarole temperatures as measured at both Sulphur Cone and the summit have not changed significantly.
For more information on current monitoring of Mauna Loa Volcano, see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna_loa/monitoring_summary.html
Background: Mauna Loa is the largest volcano on our planet, rising gradually to 4,170 m (13,681 ft) above sea level. Its long submarine flanks descend an additional 5 km (3 mi) below sea level to the ocean floor. The ocean floor directly beneath Mauna Loa is, in turn, depressed by the volcano's great mass another 8 km (5 mi). This places Mauna Loa's summit about 17 km (56,000 ft) above its base. The enormous volcano covers half of the Island of Hawaiʻi.
Eruptions typically start at the summit and, within minutes to months of eruption onset, about half of the eruptions migrate into either the Northeast or Southwest Rift Zones. Since 1843, the volcano has erupted 33 times with intervals between eruptions ranging from months to decades. Mauna Loa last erupted 35 years ago, in 1984.
Mauna Loa eruptions tend to produce voluminous, fast-moving lava flows that can impact communities on the east and west sides of the Island of Hawaiʻi. Since the mid-19th century, the city of Hilo in east Hawaiʻi has been threatened by seven Mauna Loa lava flows. Mauna Loa lava flows have reached the south and west coasts of the island eight times: 1859, 1868, 1887, 1926, 1919, and three times in 1950.
Activity summary for Mauna Loa is also available by phone: (808) 967-8866
Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/
Webcam images: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna_loa/multimedia_webcams.html
FAQs of Mauna Loa: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/faq_maunaloa.html
Summary of volcanic hazards from eruptions: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/hawaii_hazards.html
Recent earthquakes in Hawaiʻi (map and list): https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna_loa/monitoring_summary.html
Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/about_alerts.html
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.