The largest active volcano on Earth, Mauna Loa, has erupted and you can stream it live.
Mauna Loa began erupting on Nov. 27, 2022 at around 11:30 p.m, from its location within in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). By the following morning, the eruption had moved to what’s known as the upper Northeast Rift Zone, traveling toward the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road), and it’s here within this Rift Zone the USGS expects all eruptive activity to remain. No homes or buildings are currently at risk, which is always good news.
Taller than Mount Everest and dominating the Big Island of Hawaii, Mauna Loa towers at 13,796 feet (4,205 meters) above sea level with an extra 19,700 feet (6,000 metres) in the ocean depths — making its total height around 33,500 feet (10,211 metres). The mountain’s surface area sits at about 5,100 square kilometres (1900 square miles) — so, yeah, it’s a colossal one. It looms over its neighbour, Kilauea, which last erupted in 2018. Mauna Loa hasn’t erupted since 1984.
Currently, there is one active fissure (referred to by scientists as fissure three) that is seeing several lava flows, which have slowed down over the past few days but this may vary over the next few weeks according to the USGS — flatter land means slower rates, and blockages mean breakouts down different courses. As of Sunday, the lava flow rate was reported at 40 feet per hour (12 metres).
What you’re looking at above is the 24/7 livestream of the active fissure, where several webcams capture the lava glowing and flowing, and you can see the fissure is issuing volcanic gas plumes, which includes sulphur dioxide (SO2). There’s plenty of other videos on the USGS YouTube channel, including some incredible lava fountaining.
You can check out the USGS website for updates, follow USGS Volcanoes on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, check out the Mauna Loa eruption map as well as the Hawaii County volcano hazard map, sign up for county alerts, and residents with emergency questions can check out the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency site.
And if you’re wondering, yes, Mauna Loa is on our list of favourite volcanoes, and yes we’ve ranked them.