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Thread: Mauna Loa

  1. #1
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    Mauna Loa

    I've been sort of keeping an eye on the Mauna Loa website.

    As the magma chamber seems to be increasing at an accelerated rate, it seems more likely that an eruption will happen relatively soon (by soon, I'm thinking within the next year or two).

    Scroll down to see the GPS graphs

    Eruption history

  2. #2
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    Well I'm interested. I haven't heard much since it first showed a little activity. Soon after that it seemed like an eruption was still a ways off. Keep us posted.

  3. #3
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    My son is supposed to be in Hawaii next month for a SDSS collaborators conference. I've been telling him he needs to take time visit Mauna Loa. Maybe this will convince him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gethen
    My son is supposed to be in Hawaii next month for a SDSS collaborators conference. I've been telling him he needs to take time visit Mauna Loa. Maybe this will convince him.
    If he has never been to Kiluaea he definitely needs to visit that. It is constantly erupting.

    Mauna Loa summit is hard to reach, although easy to see from a distance.

  5. #5
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    My Mom and I went to the Big Is in the early 80s when Kilauea first started on the current eruption cycle. It was fantastic. We stayed at the Volcano Lodge in the nat'l park and hiked the craters and lava tubes.

    We were only allowed to see the active lava from a distance as it wasn't until later they started letting people go right up to it. But we could see it from a fairly short distance away where it was rolling across the road. The hills had red lava trails at night.

    We did go see a place called The Queen's Bath at the advice of someone we met on the plane. A day or so later, the lava covered it up. Amazing coincidence since we might not have gone there without the suggestion and our acquaintance made no mention of impending destruction. I don't think she was aware or she would have mentioned it.

    It's amazing that the lava has poured continuously since that time.

  6. #6
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    The summit of mauna loa continues to swell. There was a slight pause in the expansion in late january, but the pace has picked up again now.

    http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/maunaloa/current/main.html

    Still no clear idea of when the next eruption will occur, but it is interesting that there have been a lot of very deep earthquakes, presumably molten material is moving up from depth.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the updates. I love volcanoes (as I think others around here do). I've visited Volcano National Park in Hawaii, Yellowstone, Mt. Saint Helens, and just recently, one in Costa Rica.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  8. #8
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    My son missed Mauna Loa while in Hawaii, but did get to Kilauea, which he found spectacular. Instead of the usual souvenirs, he picked up a piece of volcanic rock for me. Hope to see him this weekend to get it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gethen
    My son missed Mauna Loa while in Hawaii, but did get to Kilauea, which he found spectacular. Instead of the usual souvenirs, he picked up a piece of volcanic rock for me. Hope to see him this weekend to get it.
    Mauna Loa is somewhat inaccessable (the caldera is at 13,600 ft and only hiking trails lead to it), so I'm not surprised your son didn't get there. Kilalea is the center of the Hawaii Volcanoes national park and one can drive there.

    Hopefully, your son didn't invoke the wrath of Pele (the Hawaiian volcano goddess) by taking the rock. The park headquarters regularly gets mail from people returning the piece of lava they took with letters noting the misfortunes they've suffered since. No stats on the number who take a piece and live happily ever after.

    It's funny to note the difference in attitude in Italy. When I visited Mt. Etna I took a small rock. Someone else in my tour group asked if it was OK to do so. The response was "sure, the mountain will replace it soon enough."

    For those interested in tracking both Kilauea and Mauna Loa, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has almost daily updates (with photos) of the status. As long as we're on the topic of volcanos of note, Here's a webcam of Mount Saint Helens.
    "I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind." - William Thompson, 1st Baron Lord Kelvin

    "If it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be, but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic!" - Tweedledee

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eta C
    Hopefully, your son didn't invoke the wrath of Pele (the Hawaiian volcano goddess) by taking the rock. The park headquarters regularly gets mail from people returning the piece of lava they took with letters noting the misfortunes they've suffered since. No stats on the number who take a piece and live happily ever after.
    I guess I've heard that story too, but believe me, my son is not the type to accept much of anything without factual evidence. He's one of those odd "scientist" guys, so I doubt he'll worry too much about that one.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eta C
    Hopefully, your son didn't invoke the wrath of Pele (the Hawaiian volcano goddess) by taking the rock. The park headquarters regularly gets mail from people returning the piece of lava they took with letters noting the misfortunes they've suffered since. No stats on the number who take a piece and live happily ever after.

    It's funny to note the difference in attitude in Italy. When I visited Mt. Etna I took a small rock. Someone else in my tour group asked if it was OK to do so. The response was "sure, the mountain will replace it soon enough."
    I confess to having taken a whole collection of lava types from Hawaii. No particularly bad luck followed of course. Those that do have problems and send their rocks back (returned rocks and letters on display in museum there), of course represent the persons who would have had problems anyway. Oh I sound so dull discussing this. #-o

    Anyway, I'm glad to hear some folks aren't worried tourists will carry the whole mountain off. My collection of lava types have provided amazement and wonderment to at least a few classrooms of kids. I remember similar experiences as a child myself. There is just nothing like the real thing, especially a 'real' thing the kids had no idea even existed like Pele's hair.

    Information on Pele's Hair

  12. #12
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    I took a rock once. It's still in my shaving kit. No particular misfortune has followed. I've been tempted to write asking them to send more lucky rocks!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet
    I took a rock once. It's still in my shaving kit. No particular misfortune has followed. I've been tempted to write asking them to send more lucky rocks!
    Are you sure you've never cut yourself shaving?

    Pele strikes again!

  14. #14
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    Ahh, thanks for the heads up. I keep forgetting about this, since it's happening so gradually. Should be interesting.

    And yes, "Dun' be takin' wot's Pele's, brah!"

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by aurora
    The summit of mauna loa continues to swell. There was a slight pause in the expansion in late january, but the pace has picked up again now.

    http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/maunaloa/current/main.html

    Still no clear idea of when the next eruption will occur, but it is interesting that there have been a lot of very deep earthquakes, presumably molten material is moving up from depth.
    An update, there was another pause in July, and now the expansion has resumed again. During the year, there has been a gradual increase in the rate of expansion.

    Mauna Loa current status

  16. #16
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    Nifty. Hawaii is one of the places in the world I've been wanting to go awhile, but I think shall have to wait a few more years. Ah well.
    That doesn't mean I'm not applying for the astronomy REU there next year (undergrads can apply to summer research things around the country and there's one there), but for the eight spots there are 200+ kids who apply!
    Still, I wanna see a volcano sometime, I'm a sucker for big explosions...

  17. #17
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    I have friends in Hawaii who keep encouraging me to visit, saying that I'd have somewhere to stay while I was there--but then there's the airfare thing. sigh. not even a volcano erupting will make it possible.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andromeda321
    Still, I wanna see a volcano sometime, I'm a sucker for big explosions...
    It's rare that a Hawaiian volcano has an explosion. Kiluaea has had some, there was just an article about it here:

    http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/hazards/explosivepast/

  19. #19
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    Not to make anyone feel bad for not being able to go, but I would highly recommend Volcano National Park on the big island. I've been twice and it is up there among the neatest places I've been. Last I was there (2001), from the state side (the state owns land adjacent to the national park), you could get within about 200 yards of where the lava was flowing into the sea. Very neat right at sunset. The lava tubes, steam vents and all the other features of the park are very neat.

    On my tour of geo-thermal national parks I've been to Volcano, Mount Saint Helens, Rainer, and Yellowstone.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  20. #20
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    Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to visit "the Big Island" when I was living on Oahu. Still, lovely place to visit.

    Just don't ever move to Oahu. You'll be in debt the rest of your life. 8-[

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift
    Not to make anyone feel bad for not being able to go, but I would highly recommend Volcano National Park on the big island. I've been twice and it is up there among the neatest places I've been. Last I was there (2001), from the state side (the state owns land adjacent to the national park), you could get within about 200 yards of where the lava was flowing into the sea. Very neat right at sunset. The lava tubes, steam vents and all the other features of the park are very neat.

    On my tour of geo-thermal national parks I've been to Volcano, Mount Saint Helens, Rainer, and Yellowstone.
    Just another vote for Volcano National Park as a great experience. I was there in 2003. Not much flowing at the time, but saw some lava oozing and cooling.

  22. #22
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    Take a planetary science grad class sometime and you might actually get a field trip to study lava formations. that's what I did twice... crawled all over the Kilueaua region...

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