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Mauna Loa volcano with gentle slopes typical of a shield volcano.
Mauna Loa volcano with gentle slopes typical of a shield volcano.

Mauna Loa activity update:
Friday, Sep 18, 2015
The alert level of the world's largest volcano was raised a notch to "ADVISORY", and the Aviation Color code to "YELLOW" becuase shallow earthquakes have recently appeared in increasing numbers under the volcano. There is no sign that the volcano is about to erupt in a very near future, but it could be a medium- or long-term precursor of a next eruption. ... [more]
Recent earthquakes under Mauna Loa volcano
Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013
A small earthquake swarm occurred last week under the volcano. During 5-7 September, HVO detected about 350 small earthquakes up to magnitude 2.4 in a tightly clustered area at about 7 km depth west of the summit caldera. Only about 25 were strong enough to be located (map). ... [more]

Mauna Loa volcano

Shield volcano 4170 m / 13,681 ft
Big Island, Hawai'i, 19.48°N / -155.61°W
Current status: restless (2 out of 5)
Mauna Loa webcams / live data
Last update: 18 Sep 2015 (seismic unrest)
Typical eruption style: Dominantly effusive.
Mauna Loa volcano eruptions: 1832, 1843, 1849, 1851, 1852, 1855-56, 1859, 1865-66, 1868, 1870(?), 1871, 1872, 1873, 1873-74, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1879, 1880, 1880-81, 1887, 1892, 1896, 1899, 1903, 1907, 1914-15, 1916, 1919, 1926, 1933, 1935-36, 1940, 1950, 1975, 1984
TimeMag. / DepthDistanceLocation
Tue, 13 Oct
Tue, 13 Oct 19:52 UTCM 1.2 / 3.6 km8 km- 24km ESE of Honaunau-Napoopoo, Hawaii
Tue, 13 Oct 19:52 UTCM 1.7 / 2.7 km8 km- 24km ESE of Honaunau-Napoopoo, Hawaii
Tue, 13 Oct 10:19 UTCM 2.1 / 8 km17 km- 18km NNE of Pahala, Hawaii
Tue, 13 Oct 00:23 UTCM 1.7 / 3.4 km18 km- Hawaii region, Hawaii
Tue, 13 Oct 00:23 UTCM 1.1 / 2.1 km18 km- 13km NE of Pahala, Hawaii
View all recent quakes
Mauna Loa is the world's largest and one of its most active volcanoes - a giant shield volcano on the Big Island of Hawai'i.


Mauna Loa, world's largest mountain and volcano, is a archetype of a basaltic shield volcano in its late mature stage of life, and only about 600,000-1,000,000 years old. Although not erupting as frequently as its younger neighbor Kilauea, it is also one of the most active volcanoes of the world. When it erupts, its eruptions are usually huge and produce large rivers of lava that have repeatedly threatened the town of Hilo.
Mauna Loa rises almost 9 km above the sea floor and the weight of the massive mountain has depressed the oceanic crust down by about 8 kilometers, so the whole pile of volcanic rocks produced from Mauna Loa is probably about 8+5+4=17 kilometers! It has eruptions both from its summit, occupied by a large caldera, and its NE and SW rift zones on the flanks. Almost 90% of Mauna Loa's surface is is covered by lavas less than 4000 years old, while about 50% of its surface is covered by lavas no older than about 1500 years old, while about 25% are covered by lava flows younger than about 750 years, i.,e. emplaced after the formation of the Mokuaweoweo summit caldera.

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