Volcano news: Mauna Loa volcano (Big Island, Hawaii)
Mauna Loa volcano (Hawai'i) activity update: alert level raised to yellow due to increase in seismic activity
Wed, 3 Jul 2019, 08:0008:00 AM | BY: T
The alert level for the volcano has been raised to yellow two days ago. This doesn't mean that an eruption is expected to occur in a near future, but acknowledges that the volcano is currently preparing itself for its next eruption, which will come, sooner or later, but currently without possibility to indicate a specific time frame.
Earthquakes under Manua Loa during the past week (image: HVO / USGS)
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reported that "for the past several months, earthquake and ground deformation rates at Mauna Loa Volcano have exceeded long term background levels. An eruption is not imminent and current rates are not cause for alarm. However, they do indicate changes in the shallow magma storage system at Mauna Loa."
"Following a significant earthquake swarm in October 2018, HVO seismic stations have recorded an average of at least 50 shallow, small-magnitude earthquakes per week beneath Mauna Loa's summit, upper Southwest Rift Zone, and upper west flank. This compares to a rate of fewer than 20 per week in the first half of 2018. Shallow earthquakes are occurring in locations similar to those that preceded Mauna Loa's most recent eruptions in 1975 and 1984.
"During this same time period, GPS instrumentation and satellite radar have measured ground deformation consistent with renewed recharge of the volcano's shallow magma storage system. The current rate and pattern of ground deformation is similar to that measured during inflation of Mauna Loa in 2005 and again from 2014 - 2018.
"Together, these observations indicate the volcano is no longer at a background level of activity. Accordingly, HVO is elevating the Mauna Loa alert level to ADVISORY and the aviation color code to YELLOW." (HVO / USGS)
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