Inflation at Mauna Loa recorded despite inactive flow field
Overflight finds only residual incandescence;
Small explosions heard
Update: 9:35 a.m., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022
As of 7 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 12, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory overflight found only residual incandescence and no lava movement in the F3 vent.
As crews were leaving the field they reported hearing small explosions accompanied by sprays of spatter from the west end of the fissure 3 (F3) vent.
The HVO reports the channels below the vent appear drained of lava and no longer feed the main flow front.
Little incandescence and no lava movement at Mauna Loaʻs F3
Incandescence was restricted to the fissure 3 lava cone at Mauna Loa over the weekend, with no observable activity on the rest of the flow field Sunday, scientists report.
The inactive main flow front stagnated about 1.7 miles from the Daniel K Inouye Highway, but still glowed at a few spots at night s it continues to settle, according to the latest update from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
Scientists with the HVO say tremor is no longer detectable; however summit and Northeast Rift Zone inflation started on December 7 and is continuing.
The significance of the continuing inflation while the flow field is inactive is not yet clear. HVO scientists say it is common for eruptions to wax and wane or pause completely, but none of the eight recorded eruptions from Mauna Loa’s Northeast Rift Zone returned to high eruption rates after those rates decreased significantly.