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Mauna Loa returns to normal as inflation ends

The largest volcano on Hawai`i’s big island is officially moved to “Normal” status after the inflation of Mauna Loa ends.

Sunny and 80 here in Ohio today. That could mean only one thing that is likely on everyone’s mind. (I suppose there is also this other bit of news that we’ve been following, too.)

The low, broad shield of Hawai`i’s Mauna Loa volcano.

The USGS announced yesterday that inflation at Hawai`i’s Mauna Loa appears to have ceased. This prompted the decision to move the alert status at Mauna Loa from “Advisory” to “Normal”. This would signify the end of any current activity on the big island’s largest volcano – the inflation that had been slowing since 2006 (since 2003 really) finally stopped in October 2009, with no sign of inflation of the volcano since. However, this doesn’t mean that the folks at HVO won’t pay attention to the volcano – it is still an active volcano. GPS units and seismometers will continue to monitor the volcano for any changes in its activity. Remember, the last eruption at Mauna Loa was less than 30 years ago – that last erupted in 1984 erupted ~0.22 km3 in a fissure eruption. Mauna Loa erupted frequently during the 20th century, so we should expect the volcano to come back to life.

I chime in on some of the discussions about caldera-forming eruptions and inflation of volcanoes in the Andes. Also, news on the stimulus money to volcano monitoring and “our island blew up.”

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