What is the largest active volcano in the world? – Mauna Loa facts

Mauna Loa is the World’s largest active volcano, located on the big island of Hawaii. The immense Mauna Loa is a shield volcano that rises more than 10,000 feet(3 km) from its base on the ocean floor to its summit above sea level.

The huge volcano covers half of Hawaii, making it the most massive single mountain on Earth. Mauna Loa has been erupting for at least 700,000 years. The most recent eruption occurred in November 2022. Volcano is still active today with frequent seismic activity.

Although its eruptions are relatively gentle when compared to other volcanoes but its sheer size and power is still a big threat. This serves as a reminder that even seemingly dormant volcanoes can be unpredictable forces of nature capable of doing great harm if not monitored closely enough by scientists and other experts.

How many times has Mauna Loa Erupted?

The immense volcano Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times since its first ever eruption in 1843. Most of these eruptions occured before 1950. And recently the volcano erupted for the first time in four decades on 27 November 2022 and lasted for almost 17 days until 13th December.

What type of volcano is Mauna Loa?

Mauna Loa is an active shield volcano located on the island of Hawaii. Shield volcanoes are formed by relatively low-viscosity lava flows and tend to have gentle slopes, broad bases, and flat summits. Its eruptions are often accompanied by lava flows that can reach lengths up to 10 miles long.

Mauna Loa’s eruptions are typically effusive (slow volcanic eruption in which lava flows on the ground, steadily) with lava flows rather than explosive events like some other types of volcanic activity.

Mauna Loa Volcano from top
Mauna Loa Volcano from top

When was the First Eruption of Mauna Loa?

In 1843, the first ever eruption of Mauna Loa was recorded. Since then, it has erupted 33 times and is considered to be one of the most active volcanoes on earth.

The most recent eruption began on November 27, 2022 and lasted until 13th December of that year. It was considered a small event with no lava flows or significant ash emissions reported by USGS scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO).

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Does Mauna Loa affect climate change?

Yes, Mauna Loa’s eruptions have been known to affect climate change. Volcanic activity can release large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which can contribute to global warming.

Additionally, volcanic ash clouds that form during eruptions are able to reflect sunlight away from Earth’s surface, cooling temperatures in some areas while also blocking out solar radiation in others. As a result of these effects on both short-term weather patterns and long-term climate trends, Mauna Loa has an undeniable impact on climate change.

When was the last eruption of Mauna Loa?

The most recent eruption of Mauna Loa occured in 2022. The eruption began on 27 November 2022 and ended on 13th December 2022. Scientists are closely monitoring seismic activity and other indicators that could signal an impending eruption.

Although there is not much of a threat posed by Mauna Loa volcano, yet, the warning is given to the residents to stay alert during the early stages of a volcanic rift zone eruption as it can be very dynamic. As a result, they have urged all residents near the volcano to create evacuation plans and stay informed about any developments regarding activity at Mauna Loa.

In addition, experts suggest taking precautions such as stocking up on emergency supplies like food and water, having multiple routes for escape planned out ahead of time, and staying alert for official warnings from local authorities if an eruption does occur.

What happened when Mauna Loa erupted in 1984?

In 1984, the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii erupted for the first time since 1975. The eruption was relatively minor, but it caused significant damage to property and infrastructure in nearby villages.

Residents were evacuated from their homes as lava flows threatened to destroy them. Fortunately, no lives were lost during this event; however, thousands of acres of land were destroyed by the molten rock and ash that spewed forth from Mauna Loa’s summit caldera.

Breathtaking view of Mauna Loa volcano
Breathtaking view of Mauna Loa volcano

Interesting Facts about Mauna Loa:

  • Mauna Loa is the largest active volcano on Earth.
  • It is 13,667feets (2.59 miles) tall and 30 miles wide.
  • Mauna Loa is a shield volcano with relatively low-viscosity lava flows and has gentle slopes.
  • Mauna Loa is 700,000 million years old.
  • Mauna Loa is so heavy and humongous that the sea floor has sunk about 12-13 kilometres under this volcano due to its weight.
  • There are different vegetation zones on Mauna Loa where a number of birds rely on these vegetation zones in their life cycle.
  • People around the world are allowed to hike Mauna Loa.
  • Mauna Loa has erupted every 5/6 years after its first eruption in 1843 until 1984.

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