Is Mauna Loa Due to Erupt Soon?

Pacific Island National Parks

Erupting vents on Mauna Loa’s northeast rift zone near Pu‘u‘ula‘ula (Red Hill) on Mar. 25, 1984, sent massive ‘a‘ā lava flows down the rift toward Kūlani. This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Mauna Loa’s most recent eruption. (USGS)

The following is this week’s edition of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory‘s Volcano Watch:

March 25 is the 30th anniversary of the most recent eruption of Mauna Loa, Hawaiʻi island’s largest volcano. According to historical records, Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times since 1843, an average rate of 1 eruption every 5 years. If we look further back into Mauna Loa’s eruptive history, over the last 3,000 years, it has erupted about once every 6 years.

These statistics might lead one to believe that the world’s largest active volcano is overdue to erupt. We treat all volcanic hazards as random events; therefore, each event has no influence over the…

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