Volcano Watch: Mauna Loa: The sleeping giant

  • USGS graphic Plots showing Mauna Loa ground deformation and earthquake monitoring data between midnight Aug. 1 and midnight Aug. 3, 2022. The top panel shows ground tilt in microradians at station MOK, on the northwest side of Mauna Loa’s summit caldera. A histogram showing the number of located earthquakes that occurred per hour is shown in the middle panel. The bottom panel shows located earthquake depth, with different circle sizes representing different magnitudes and color representing depth relative to sea level.

Covering over half of the Island of Hawaii, Mauna Loa is sometimes referred to as a “sleeping giant” because it hasn’t erupted in 38 years after erupting nearly every 7 years in the early 20th century. However, Mauna Loa occasionally stirs in its slumber and reminds us that it will someday awake and erupt again.