World's largest volcano rumbles to life in Hawaii

2014-06-20 11:39

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Los Angeles - Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, has rumbled back to life in Hawaii over the past 13 months with more seismic activity than at any time since its last eruption, scientists say, while calling it too soon to predict another blast.

The volcano, which last erupted in 1975 and 1984, has been rattled since March 2013 by earthquakes of the same type and in the same location as the temblors that preceded those explosions, said Wes Thelen, a seismologist for the US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

"The earthquakes we are seeing at Mauna Loa lead us to believe that some of the same things that happened before the 1975 and 1984 eruptions are happening right now", Thelen said.

"We don't see this kind of activity outside of pre-eruptive earthquake sequences", he said.

The USGS posted a photo of Mauna Loa on Instagram on Wednesday with the caption: "After a 30-year repose, this sleeping giant may be stirring slowly to life."

Thelen said the earthquakes so far had not been regular or sustained enough to lead the observatory to forecast an eruption or raise the color-coded volcano warning system. But seismologists were keeping a close eye on the volcano.

Mauna Loa, which covers half of the island of Hawaii, is a popular destination for hikers despite being one of Earth's most active volcanoes.

"We're not closing down the summit or doing anything drastic", he said. "This is of interest because it may be the very first sign that something's up deep underneath the volcano, but we'll wait until either the earthquakes get larger or we see more inflation in the volcano to raise the colour code."

Mauna Loa's last eruption in 1984 sent hot magma flowing toward several populated areas, close enough to the city of Hilo that residents could see it glowing on hillsides.

Thelen said Mauna Loa, which has erupted 33 times since 1843, had been unusually quiet since 1984, although it inflated between 2002 and 2005, which seismologists interpreted as magma filling the magma chamber.

"Volcanos are very irregular beasts but certainly the historical eruptive history at Mauna Loa is much more active than what we've seen in the last 30 years," he said.

 "There aren't a lot of cases in the historical record where we've seen Mauna Loa have such a long gap between eruptions."
Read more on:    us  |  volcanoes

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.