Mauna Loa Concerns

Like most armchair volcanologists on this island I have been monitoring Mauna Loa more closely lately. The deformation graphs in particular have been? Interesting. I have even gone so far as predicting that we will not get through the year without a Mauna Loa eruption.

An intense earthquake swarm on the NW flank of Mauna Loa
An intense earthquake swarm on the NW flank of Mauna Loa, March 30, 2021

The area of concern has been the western rift zone, exhibiting steady and shallow seismic activity for the last several years. More concerning is the rate of inflation shown in the GPS data, This seems to have doubled in rate around last October.

Then comes today.

An intense seismic swarm is currently occurring beneath the NW flank. Still fairly deep. a few kilometers below the surface, but getting shallower. Magma is definitely moving, a sizable mass moving upwards and emplacing itself higher in the volcano.

This may come to nothing in the near term. Like many seismic swarms it may stop. Just part of the process towards a future eruption some years from now, or never. Or we may be seeing the first step in a new eruption. I will hold to my prediction of an eruption sometime in 2021.

Sit back and watch.

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

3 thoughts on “Mauna Loa Concerns”

  1. The big telescopes are not on Mauna Loa for that reason, the earth there moves too much.
    But with the controversies about expanding the Mauna Kea site, one wonders whether Mauna Loa deserves another look.

  2. Northwest flank has me concerned because Waikoloa has the potential of being cutoff from Kona. I hope our electrical grid is resilient enough to handle possible severance of the transmission lines running north towards the village!

  3. As long as you keep the flow on ur side I’m ok with dat, except more lost ocean reefs

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