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Mauna Loa: Preparing for the Next Eruption of Earth’s Largest Active Volcano

The Hawaiian Islands exist because of a hot spot beneath the oceanic crustal plate, where magma upwells and erupts at the surface.

Mauna Loa, Earth’s largest active volcano, is located on the Island of Hawai‘i and is monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO).

Mauna Loa erupted most recently in 1984 and will erupt again in the future, posing significant risk to people living on the flanks of the volcano. This geonarrative provides an overview of Mauna Loa’s eruptive history and hazards and includes interactive maps and datasets to help residents prepare for the next eruption (Wright and others, 1992; Trusdell and others, 1996; Wolfe and Morris, 1996; Sherrod and others, 2007; Kauahikaua and others, 2017; Trusdell and Lockwood, 2017; Trusdell and Zoeller, 2017; Trusdell and Lockwood, 2019, 2020).

The Hawaiian Islands exist because of a hot spot beneath the oceanic crustal plate, where magma upwells and erupts at the surface.

As the Pacific Plate drifts northwestward, the hot spot below remains almost stationary, resulting in a chain of islands and atolls called the Hawaiian Ridge-Emperor Seamount volcanic chain. The hot spot is now below the Island of Hawai‘i and Kama‘ehuakanaloa (formerly Lō‘ihi Seamount) to the southeast, and the chain is progressively older and more eroded with increasing distance from the hot spot.

Mauna Loa is on the Island of Hawai‘i—the largest and youngest island in the chain—at the southeastern end of the Hawaiian Islands.

Read more at USGS

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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