USGS Cautions: Prepare NOW for Non-Imminent Eruption of Mauna Loa

  • Thread starter jedishrfu
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Prepare
In summary: The USGS has issued a Volcano Watch for Mauna Loa, as the world's largest active volcano continues to awaken. The largest earthquake so far is a 3.2 magnitude earthquake that struck near the SE coast of the island of Hawaii this morning. Additionally, USGS is warning that the world's largest volcano could erupt at any time.The volcano is located on the island of Hawaii, which is also known as the "Big Island of Hawaii." Mauna Loa rises up from the ocean floor of the Central Pacific at a depth of about 3 miles, putting its summit 56,000 feet above its base. Because of the volcano’s significant mass, the ocean floor directly beneath Mauna Loa is depressed by
  • #1
14,810
9,179
TL;DR Summary
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is urging people to prepare for the possibility of an eruption at the world’s largest volcano: Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii. In a recent news release, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists with USGS cautioned, “While an eruption of Mauna Loa is not imminent, now is the time to revisit personal eruption plans. Similar to preparing for hurricane season, having an eruption plan in advance helps during an emergency.”
Mauna Loa is considered the largest active volcano on Earth, rising to 13,681 feet above sea level. Mauna Loa rises up from the ocean floor of the Central Pacific at a depth of about 3 miles. Because of the volcano’s significant mass, the ocean floor directly beneath Mauna Loa is depressed by another 5 miles. According to USGS, this places Mauna Loa’s summit about 56,000 feet above its base; the enormous volcano covers half of the island of Hawaii, also known simply as the “Big Island of Hawaii.”

Mauna Loa eruptions tend to produce voluminous, fast-moving lava flows that can impact communities on the east and west sides of the Big Island from Kona to Hilo. Since the 1850s, Hilo in eastern Hawaii has been threatened by 7 Mauna Loa lava flows. On the south and west sides of the island, Mauna Loa lava flows have reached the coast there 8 times: in 1859, 1868, 1887, 1926, 1919, and three times in 1950.

https://weatherboy.com/usgs-cautions-that-the-worlds-largest-volcano-could-erupt/
 
  • Like
  • Informative
Likes davenn and Klystron
Earth sciences news on Phys.org
  • #2
And the USGS publication:

https://www.usgs.gov/center-news/volcano-watch-failing-prepare-you-are-preparing-fail-benjamin-franklin
Volcano Watch — “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Release Date: MARCH 11, 2021
Mauna Loa has been in the news lately, as the volcano continues to awaken from its slumber. While an eruption of Mauna Loa is not imminent, now is the time to revisit personal eruption plans. Similar to preparing for hurricane season, having an eruption plan in advance helps during an emergency.
 
  • Like
Likes davenn
  • #3
This morning, I was looking at the USGS world map a saw 4 earthquakes in Hawaii. Two were near the SE coast of the island Hawaii.

M 3.2 - 3 km S of Pāhala, Hawaii
https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/hv72386777/executive
  • 2021-03-17 10:25:19 (UTC)
  • 19.173°N 155.475°W
  • 32.6 km depth
M 2.7 - 10 km E of Pāhala, Hawaii
https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/hv72386657/executive
  • 2021-03-17 08:14:51 (UTC)
  • 19.218°N 155.379°W
  • 32.4 km depth
But there were two near the peak of Mauna Loa of the same magnitude, but they have since been removed/retracted. I was thinking that they may be clear signs of a pending eruption, but now the information disappeared, or they were resolved to the two near Pāhala.

https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/volcano-updates

Kīlauea is erupting however, but the recent earthquakes were south of Kīlauea.
 

Attachments

  • Kīlauea_Southern_Hawaii.jpg
    Kīlauea_Southern_Hawaii.jpg
    98.9 KB · Views: 153
Last edited:
  • #4
jedishrfu said:
Mauna Loa is considered the largest active volcano on Earth, rising to 13,681 feet above sea level. Mauna Loa rises up from the ocean floor of the Central Pacific at a depth of about 3 miles. Because of the volcano’s significant mass, the ocean floor directly beneath Mauna Loa is depressed by another 5 miles.
The parts in bold seem contradictory to me. If the base of the volcano is on the ocean floor at a depth of about 3 miles, how is it that the ocean floor is depressed by another 5 miles? Is the ocean floor there three miles down or eight miles down? The latter figure would put the ocean floor at a depth about equal to that of the Challenger Deep, the lowest point in the Marianas Trench, and the lowest known point in all the oceans.
jedishrfu said:
According to USGS, this places Mauna Loa’s summit about 56,000 feet above its base
This is in disagreement with the Wikipedia article -- Mauna Loa - Wikipedia .
Mauna Loa rises 9,170 m (30,085 ft) from base to summit
While I would normally trust USGS over Wikipedia, the 30,000+ figure is one I've seen for years.

Regarding the warnings of impending eruptions, it's helpful to know that Mauna Loa is a shield volcano, one that erupts a very fluid basalt lava (i.e., low in silica) that can flow long distances. In contrast, volcanoes whose lava contains high concentrations of silica can explode violently, especially if the rising column of lava picks up a significant amount of water that can flash to steam when pressure on it is released. Volcanoes that ejected highly siliceous lava (rhyolite) include Mt. Mazama in Oregon (the present Crater Lake) and Mt. St. Helens in Washington state.

This is not to discount the dangers of a moving flow of red-hot lava.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes Astronuc, jedishrfu and russ_watters
  • #5
I should have snagged them last night, but USGS recent earthquake map was showing some 2.5 to 3.2 or so earthquake in Mauna Loa. They seem to have disappeared, but I found some. Note the negative depths, which would imply above sea level.

M 2.5 - 26 km E of Honaunau-Napoopoo, Hawaii
https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/hv72387732/executive
  • 2021-03-18 01:17:54 (UTC)
  • 19.433°N 155.615°W
  • -1.0 km depth
M 2.7 - 26 km E of Honaunau-Napoopoo, Hawaii
https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/hv72386932/executive
  • 2021-03-17 13:27:48 (UTC)
  • 19.467°N 155.613°W
  • -1.6 km depth
M 2.5 - 27 km NNW of Pāhala, Hawaii
https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/hv72385342/executive
  • 2021-03-16 09:39:11 (UTC)
  • 19.430°N 155.595°W
  • -2.5 km depth
 

Related to USGS Cautions: Prepare NOW for Non-Imminent Eruption of Mauna Loa

1. What is Mauna Loa and why is it important?

Mauna Loa is a large, active shield volcano located on the island of Hawaii. It is the largest volcano on Earth and has a long history of eruptions. Mauna Loa is important because it poses a potential threat to nearby communities and infrastructure.

2. What does it mean for an eruption to be non-imminent?

A non-imminent eruption means that there is currently no immediate threat of an eruption occurring. However, the volcano is showing signs of increased activity and could potentially erupt in the future.

3. What are the potential hazards associated with an eruption of Mauna Loa?

The potential hazards of a Mauna Loa eruption include lava flows, ashfall, and volcanic gases. These hazards can impact nearby communities and infrastructure, and can also have wider environmental and economic impacts.

4. How can I prepare for a non-imminent eruption of Mauna Loa?

It is important to have an emergency plan in place and to stay informed about the volcano's activity. This includes knowing evacuation routes, having emergency supplies on hand, and staying updated on any warnings or advisories from the USGS or local authorities.

5. What is the role of the USGS in monitoring and warning about potential volcanic eruptions?

The USGS is responsible for monitoring and studying volcanic activity in the United States. They use a variety of tools and techniques to track changes in volcanic activity and provide warnings and advisories to help keep communities safe. The USGS also works closely with local authorities to develop emergency plans and response strategies.

Similar threads

Replies
2
Views
3K
Replies
0
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Earth Sciences
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Earth Sciences
Replies
2
Views
12K
  • Sci-Fi Writing and World Building
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Sci-Fi Writing and World Building
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Sci-Fi Writing and World Building
Replies
1
Views
3K
Back
Top