Maui News

Mauna Loa alert level reduced as lava flows stall and flow front stagnates

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Aerial view of the fissure 3 cone on the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. On Dec. 10, 2022, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists noted there are no fountains present in fissure 3. Only a lava pond is present with minor circulating activity. Photograph by K. Mulliken.

The volcano alert level at Mauna Loa was reduced from Warning to Watch on Saturday evening, as lava output and gas emissions wane.

Scientists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say the reduced alert reflects the limited hazards associated with the current activity.

“High eruption rates will not resume based on past eruptive behavior and current behavior suggests that the eruption may end soon. However, an inflationary trend of Mauna Loa’s summit is accompanying the decreased activity and there is a small possibility that the eruption could continue at very low eruptive rates,” according to the HVO’s latest update.


While lava eruption from fissure 3 (F3) on the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa continues, the HVO reports greatly reduced lava output and volcanic gas emissions with most lava confined to the vent in a small pond.  

The HVO reports that short lava flows active about 1.5 miles from the vent on Friday have since stalled.  The flow front in the Humu’ula Saddle region has also stagnated 1.9 miles from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road) and the HVO says it is no longer a threat.  

The aviation color code remains Orange, reflecting the uncertainty of continuing eruptive activity and the possibility of volcanic ash emissions. 


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