Flyover above world’s largest volcano as rumbles continue on Hawaii’s Big Island

The Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory continues to monitor the world’s largest volcano, which is showing signs of increased unrest, a possible precursor to an eruption not seen in nearly four decades.

Mauna Loa is one of the seven volcanoes that make up the relief of the Big Island.

Experts use a variety of monitoring instruments to monitor the volcano for telltale signs of any precursors leading to an eruption.

Monitoring practices involve flying over the volcano to spot any changes in the terrain, which would signal continued unrest.

Despite hundreds of low-magnitude earthquakes and changes in terrain, the United States Geological Survey reports that there are no signs that the shield volcano is in danger of an immediate eruption.

“Mauna Loa is not erupting and there are no signs of an impending eruption at this time. Monitoring data shows no significant changes over the past 24 hours. Mauna Loa continues to be in a state of heightened unrest, as indicated by increased seismic activity and summit inflation. The current unrest is most likely due to a new supply of magma between 2 and 5 miles below the summit of Mauna Loa.” , the USGS said in its recent update.


Geologists say they expect to see a more persistent and higher rate of ground deformation and seismicity before a future eruption.

Shield volcanoes are known to be generally large, but the lava is generally thin, reducing the explosive nature of eruptions.

Emergency management and scientists continue to hold town hall meetings, alerting residents of what to expect when the inevitable happens.

Many are unaccustomed to the threats posed by the giant volcano, as the population has doubled since the last event in 1984.

According to census data, more than 200,000 people call the island home, including comedian Roseanne Barr and actor Matthew McConaughey.


Experts advise residents in the potential impact area to have plans ready for both shelter-in-place and evacuation if alert levels are raised.

Mauna Loa is currently in yellow advisory status, the third highest level in the US volcanic alert level system.

An increase in alert to a watch or warning by the USGS would indicate that an eruption is potentially imminent or in progress.

Volcanologists stress that the recent increase in activity on Mauna Loa does not mean an eruption is guaranteed, and there remains no indication that an eruption is imminent.

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