Scientists record increased seismic activity at Mauna Loa

Scientists record increased seismic activity at Mauna Loa
Published: Sep. 4, 2014 at 11:06 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 5, 2014 at 1:52 AM HST
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MAUNA LOA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Scientists have recently recorded increased seismic activity at Mauna Loa volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii.

In their most recent monthly report, United States Geological Survey scientists noted the largest swarm of small earthquakes in almost a decade.

Back in early August, a swarm of Deep Long Period earthquakes occurred under Mauna Loa, and was the most numerous swarm of earthquakes in this region since a swam of DLP earthquakes and deformation back in 2004 and 2005.

DLP earthquakes are events that occur at mid-to-lower crustal depths, about 45-50 km, that are lacking in high frequency energy and are produced by the injection of magma into the surrounding rock.

USGS experts say it is common at Mauna Loa and other volcanoes around the world to associate deep magma intrusion with the occurrence of DLP earthquakes.

This comes just after a state of emergency was declared as the lava flow from Kilauea inches toward the Ka'ohe Homesteads subdivision, potentially threatening the lower Puna area.

Mauna Loa's most recent eruption back in 1984 occurred following a three-year period of slowly increasing earthquake activity beneath the volcano that included a swarm of earthquakes 5 to 13 km deep in September 1983.

But even though the activity is elevated, experts say it's still much smaller compared to the earthquake events that preceded eruptions in 1975 and 1984.

Mauna Loa is the largest active volcano on Earth and is among the most active of volcanoes, having erupted 33 times since its first documented historical eruption in 1843.

For more information on Mauna Loa, click


Related links:

30 years since Mauna Loa's most recent eruption

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