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Date published: June 10, 2021

Volcano Watch — Campaign season is here! Another way HVO tracks changes on Hawaiian volcanoes

Geodetic surveys measure the change in shape of our volcanoes due to changes in magma supply and storage. The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) has a long history of using many different types of instruments and technologies over the decades to detect these changes.   

Date published: June 8, 2021

New HVO webcam: [MKcam] Mauna Loa's Summit and Northeast Rift Zone from Mauna Kea

A new USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcam provides views of Mauna Loa’s summit and Northeast Rift Zone. The webcam view is to the south from its position on the slope of Mauna Kea. Near-live webcam views and a 24-hour animated GIF are available here: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/...

Date published: May 20, 2021

Volcano Watch — New research sheds light on recent Pāhala earthquake swarms

Many people in Kaʻū have noticed the swarm of earthquakes taking place during the past few years. These earthquakes are happening in a zone that is 29-40 km (18-25 miles) beneath Pāhala and extends south about 10 km (6 miles) offshore. Some of the largest earthquakes from this region have been felt throughout the Island of Hawai‘i. 

Date published: May 6, 2021

Volcano Watch — Tiny changes at Mauna Loa’s summit hold big clues

Although Mauna Loa is Earth’s largest active volcano, it has lived in the shadow of Kīlauea since it last erupted in 1984.  The geologic record shows that Mauna Loa erupts every seven years on average; however, 37 years have passed since lava flows from the volcano’s Northeast Rift Zone came within 7 km (4 miles) of Hilo. 

Date published: April 22, 2021

Volcano Watch — How measuring gravity on Mauna Kea helps us monitor Mauna Loa

Gravimeters, essentially extremely precise pendulums, can measure a change in the force of gravity to one-in-one billionth of the force you feel every day. This force varies based on the distance and the amount of mass between the instrument (or you) and the center of the Earth.

Date published: April 3, 2021

USGS HVO Information Statement — Magnitude-4.3 earthquake beneath Mauna Loa’s south flank

The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded a magnitude-4.3 earthquake located beneath Mauna Loa's south flank on Saturday, April 3, at 11:15 a.m., HST. This earthquake was preceded by a magnitude-3.9 at approximately the same location on 11:02 a.m., HST.

Date published: March 30, 2021

USGS HVO Information Statement — Earthquake swarm on Mauna Loa Volcano's northwest flank

A swarm of earthquakes, that began on March 29, 2021, at 2:30 a.m. HST is occurring beneath the northwest flank of Mauna Loa. Mauna Loa is not erupting and other monitoring data streams currently show no signs of increased activity within the past day.

Date published: March 25, 2021

Volcano Watch — Aerial photographs and volcanic ash: Looking back to move forward

A new project at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) is once again making use of old aerial photographs and field notes that were used to make geologic and hazard maps. Buried within hundreds of old mapping photos and field notes are the locations and thicknesses of several ash deposits on the flanks of Mauna Loa that have never been fully quantified. 

Date published: March 18, 2021

USGS HVO Information Statement — Small earthquake swarm on Mauna Loa Volcano's southeast flank

Mauna Loa Volcano is not erupting. A small swarm of shallow seismicity, that began at 1:00 a.m. HST this morning, is occurring beneath the upper Ka‘ōiki seismic zone, under Mauna Loa’s southeast flank and northwest of Kīlauea's summit. Other Mauna Loa monitoring data streams remain stable and show no signs of increased activity.

Date published: March 11, 2021

Volcano Watch — “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

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.