30 years since Mauna Loa's most recent eruption

30 years since Mauna Loa's most recent eruption
Published: Mar. 25, 2014 at 6:55 PM HST
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Image Courtesy: USGS//Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Image Courtesy: USGS//Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - It is an eruption that many who live on the Island of Hawaii remember well.  On March 25, 1984, lava erupted from a fissure at Mauna Loa's summit, and, within hours, another fissure opened farther down the volcano's northeast rift zone.  Lava flows advanced 15 miles in three days, sending rivers of lava to within 4.5 miles of the outskirts of Hilo.

Fortunately, natural disruptions in the lava channels and a declining eruption rate stalled the flows before they reached residential areas. The eruption ended on April 15.

Over the past 3,000 years, Mauna Loa has erupted on average, once every 6 years. Although it has now been quiet for 30 years, Mauna Loa isn't expected to erupt any time soon.

According to Jim Kauahikaua, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) Scientist-in-Charge, "Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on Earth, is not yet showing signs of unrest, but it will erupt again.  HVO scientists continue to closely monitor Mauna Loa and will inform the public if and when significant changes are detected."

Want to learn more about Mauna Loa? The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) will offer an 'After Dark in the Park' program in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Visitor Center tonight at 7 p.m.  The public is invited to join HVO geologist Frank Trusdell as he talks about the eruptive history and current status of Mauna Loa. Click HERE for more information.

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