'Mauna Loa volcano' in Hawaii erupts

Published on - December 01, 2022

Source: Indian Express

Context:

Recently, Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, erupted after 38 years.

Background:

  • Mauna Loa is among Earth's most active volcanoes, having erupted 33 times.
  • It last erupted in 1984 which led to destruction on the Island.
  • It has produced large, voluminous flows of basalt that have reached the ocean eight times since
  • It last erupted in 1984, when a lava flow came within 7.2 km (4.5 mi) of Hilo, the largest population center on the island.
  • Mauna Loa is certain to erupt again, and with such a propensity to produce large flows, we carefully monitor the volcano for signs of unrest.

About

About Mauna Loa:

  1. It is the World’s largest active Volcano in the Island of Hawaii in the U.S. state of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean.
  2. The volcano makes up 51% of the Hawaii Island landmass.
  3. It is an active shield volcano with relatively gentle slopes.
  4. Lava eruptions from Mauna Loa are silica-poor and very fluid, and they tend to be non-explosive.

How big is Mauna Loa?

  • The largest active volcano in the world covers 2,035 sq miles (5,271 sq km).
  • It is one of a chain of five volcanoes that form Hawaii's Big Island.
  • This one volcano alone comprises half of the whole island.
  • Mauna Loa's summit is 13,680ft (4,170m) above sea level, but its base is on the sea floor.
  • From there the summit is 30,085ft (9,170m), making it taller than Mount Everest.

Significance:

Its eruption remains important as the volcano covers a large area of the island.

It gives the opportunity to the current scientist to study the volcanic phenomenon.

Type:

Shield Volcano: A shield volcano is a broad volcano with sloping sides that is formed mainly out of runny lava that flows out of its central summit vent.

Examples of Shield Volcanoes: are Mauna Loa on the Island of Hawaii, Wolf volcano on the Galapagos Islands, and Nyamuragira in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The danger of an eruption in Mauna Loa:

Explain that the volcano rising in Mauna Loa can cause damage to nearby homes and farms.

Although not clear yet. It depends on which direction the lava is flowing. If it flows towards a populated area, people can be evacuated safely.

Since Mauna Loa is releasing volcanic gas, which can pose a danger to people. People have to be saved from this.