HomeTechnologyScientists Declare 2 Hawaiian Volcanoes Have Stopped Erupting

Scientists Declare 2 Hawaiian Volcanoes Have Stopped Erupting

“Kilauea is no longer erupting,” the US Geological Survey’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory said in a statement Tuesday, followed by another that said: “Mauna Loa is no longer erupting.”

Alert levels for both volcanoes were lowered from watch to advisory.

Mauna Loa, the largest volcano in the world, it began spewing molten rock on November 27 after being silent for 38 years, drawing onlookers to enjoy the incandescent spectacle and setting some nerves on edge among people who have lived through destructive eruptions.

It was the longest quiescent period for Mauna Loa, said Ken Hon, the observatory’s chief scientist.

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Lava viewers at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park enjoyed the added rare wonder of being able to see Mauna Loa’s smaller neighbor Kilauea erupting at the same time.

Kilauea had been erupting since September 2021. As of 2018 Kilauea eruption destroyed more than 700 residences.

Hon called the two-week spectacle, which is a typical Mauna Loa time span, “my favorite eruption.”

“It was a beautiful eruption, a lot of people were able to see it, and it didn’t destroy any major infrastructure and, most importantly, it didn’t affect anyone’s lives,” he told a briefing on Tuesday.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno said a one-way road opened to control traffic from crowds of people watching the lava would be closed Thursday.

Magno and other county officials warned that slow-moving lava could force the closure of Saddle Road, also known as Route 200 or Daniel K. Inouye Highway. That prompted motorists to brace for the turmoil of a shutdown that could add hours to travel times on alternative coastal routes.

“Whatever it is, luck, chance, this is probably the best situation we could ask of Mauna Loa,” Magno said.

For native Hawaiians, volcanic eruptions have deep cultural and spiritual significance. During the Mauna Loa eruption, many Hawaiians participated in cultural traditions, such as singing, singing, and dancing in honor of Pele, the deity of volcanoes and fire, and left offerings known as “hookupu.”

The lava supply to a Mauna Loa fissure ceased Saturday, the observatory said, and volcanic tremor and earthquakes associated with the eruption “subsided considerably.”

“Flows can remain near vents, along channels, and in the flow front for days to weeks as the lava cools,” the observatory’s activity summary said. “However, eruptive activity is not expected to return based on past eruptive behavior.”

The lava supply to Kilauea’s Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake ceased on Friday, the observatory said: “The potential remains for a resumption of this eruption or the initiation of a new eruption at or near the summit of Kilauea.”

The observatory will continue to monitor volcanoes for signs of renewed activity.

Despite the definitive statements, Hon said there is usually a “cooling off” period of three months before scientists consider the eruption to be over.

But there has been no history of a pause and restart of a Mauna Loa rift eruption, he said, “so we’re pretty sure this eruption did, in fact, stop and probably have ended.”

It was unclear what connection there might be to the volcanoes that stopped erupting at the same time. the volcanoes both can be seen at the same time from multiple points in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park near the Kilauea caldera.

“So it is possible that Kilauea has already been declining and the Mauna Loa eruption may have caused enough physical changes to stop it, or it may have been destined to stop on its own,” Hon said. “So we don’t have a really good answer. for that right now.”

Scientists will analyze the data to study the relationship between the two volcanoes, he said.

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