(BIVN) – Mauna Loa is not erupting, and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say the Volcano Alert level remains at ADVISORY. “This alert level reflects rates of seismicity and deformation that are above the long-term background. It does not mean that an eruption is imminent or that progression to an eruption is certain,” scientists wrote.
In its December 26 weekly activity update, HVO reported that rates of deformation and seismicity on Mauna Loa have not changed significantly over the past week and remain above long-term background levels.
According to the USGS, approximately 106 small-magnitude earthquakes (less than M2.0) were detected beneath the upper elevations of Mauna Loa during the past week, compared 53 small-magnitude earthquakes the week before.
“Another 12 earthquakes slightly larger than M2.0 were detected, which is normal for the volcano at this time,” the scientists wrote. “Two of these events, both M3.2 earthquakes, were felt by several island residents. Most of the earthquakes occurred at shallow depths of less than 6 km (~4 miles) below sea level.”
Also, Global Positioning System (GPS) and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) measurements “show continued summit inflation, consistent with magma supply to the volcano’s shallow storage system,” the USGS HVO stated. “Gas concentrations at the Sulphur Cone monitoring site on the Southwest Rift Zone remain stable. Fumarole temperatures as measured at both Sulphur Cone and the summit have not changed.”
Mauna Loa is Earth’s largest volcano. It last erupted 35 years ago in 1984.