(BIVN) – Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on planet Earth, is not erupting, and remains at a NORMAL alert level.
It has been over a year since the end of the most recent Mauna Loa eruption. On Thursday (January 4th) scientists with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory published 2024’s first monthly update on the giant Hawaiʻi island volcano. They wrote:
Shallow seismicity (less than 2.5 mi or 4 km depth) beneath Mauna Loa’s summit and upper-elevation flanks has been stable over the past month with approximately 15 small-magnitude earthquakes (below M3.0) detected. A total of approximately 40 earthquakes were detected on the volcano across all depths, comparable to the number detected in the previous month. Starting in July 2023, there had been an elevated rate of earthquakes deeper than 8 mi (13 km) beneath and southwest of Mauna Loa’s summit caldera, then this area saw a deep earthquake swarm in late October and early November. Since then, however, the rate of deep earthquakes has returned to background levels.
Data from Global Positioning System (GPS) instruments on Mauna Loa indicate inflation as magma replenishes the summit reservoir system.
Gas and temperature data from a station on Mauna Loa’s Southwest Rift Zone show no significant changes in the past month.
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park says the Mauna Loa Trail above Red Hill Cabin remains closed due to hazards from the late-2022 eruption.
“Red Hill Cabin is open and requires a permit for overnight use,” the National Park Service wrote. “Mauna Loa Summit Cabin is accessible only by ʻĀinapō Trail and requires permits for overnight use.”