Mauna Loa from 1852 to 1868 – part 1

There has been much talk about Mauna Loa lately. Reason for this is that the earthquake levels have become increasingly elevated in past years, and even more so within the past few months, with some alarming episodes of earthquake activity at the summit. We’ve had two strong swarms coupled with rapid inflation of the caldera, which happened in August and September. Each episode amounted to 5 mm of caldera extension as measured by HVO. This may not sound like much, but they did happen very fast which caused some substantial shaking at the summit of the volcano.

Mauna Loa has always created much interest, and even excitement. It is said to be the largest active volcano of the world after all, and that should count for something. Its eruption of 1950 had become almost a legend among fissure eruptions, and for a good reason. And yet Mauna Loa has been dormant for 38 years, which is a lot for a supposedly very productive shield volcano. Other shield volcanoes like Piton de la Fournaise, Kilauea, Etna, or Fernandina, have been far more active lately. Thing is that the activity of Mauna Loa is very variable over time. This is very obvious even for the past 200 years.

Mauna Loa is in its longest historical dormancy. At its lowest activity. But how did it look when it was at its peak? It has been over a century since then. We do have historical records of a time when Mauna Loa threw one big eruption after another. I will look into what to me is one of the most interesting times at Mauna Loa, the 1852-1868 interval.

At that time, there was a man called Titus Coan. He lived in Hilo, a town located on the slopes of Mauna Loa. Coan was a missionary but also had a burning passion for volcanoes. He never lost a chance to visit an active lava flow, and frequently sent observations on the activity of Mauna Loa and Kilauea to geologists of the time. Many descriptions in this article will come from him. These descriptions are mostly excerpts from the book “The Volcanoes of Kilauea and Mauna Loa on the Island of Hawaii: Their Variously Recorded History to the Present Time”, written by the geologist William Tufts Brigham, which has many other interesting passages as well. Some information also comes from the amazing “Catalogue of Hawaiian earthquakes, 1823-1959” by Fred W. Klein and Thomas L. Wright, particularly concerning the 1868 eruption. The account of Abraham Fornander in 1868 comes from the Hawaiian Gazette.

Map of Mauna Loa historical eruptions from USGS.

 

 The eruption of 1852.

There had been a relatively small eruption in August 1851. This eruption came from the summit caldera of Mauna Loa, Mokuaweoweo and propagated into the uppermost Southwest Rift Zone. The dike that fed the eruption probably followed a similar path as more recent events in 1940 and 1949. This eruption was brief. It lasted 3-4 days.

It took only six months for Mauna Loa to rebuild its pressure, and erupt again in February 1852. It is normal that small summit eruptions are closely followed by another eruption, given that they don’t release as much pressure as larger rift eruptions. Still, the dormancy between the 1851 and 1852 eruptions is the shortest in historical time, and likely shows what was a very large influx of magma.

While the 1851 eruption had been on the opposite side of the mountain, the 1852 outbreak was in full view from Hilo. And thus Coan writes:

“At half-past three on the morning of the 17th ult. a small beacon light was discovered on the summit of Mauna Loa. At first it appeared like a solitary star resting on the apex of the mountain. In a few minutes its light increased and shone like a rising moon. Seamen keeping watch on deck in our port exclaimed, ” What is that ? The moon is rising in the West!” In fifteen minutes the problem was solved. A flood of fire burst out of the mountain, and soon began to flow in a brilliant current down its northern slope. It was from the same point, and it flowed in the same line, as the great eruption which I visited in March, 1843. In a short time immense columns of burning lava shot up heavenward to the height of three or four hundred feet, flooding the summit of the mountain with light, and gilding the firmament with its radiance. Streams of light came pouring down the mountain, flashing through our windows, and lighting up our apartments so that we could see to read large print. When we first awoke, so dazzling was the glare on our windows that we supposed that some building near us must be on fire ; but as the light shone directly upon our couch and into our faces we soon perceived the cause. In two hours, the molten stream had rolled, as we judged, about fifteen miles down the side of the mountain (actually it was probably half this distance or less). This eruption was one of terrible activity and surpassing splendor, but it was short. In about twenty-four hours, all traces of it seemed to be extinguished.”

Here Coan describes the typical Mauna Loa eruption onset. The dike intrusion will start at the summit where a complex of small magma chambers is located. The first fissure usually opens at high elevations on the mountain. Initial eruption is vigorous, long rows of lava fountains shoot from fissures, and floods of thin fluid lava encroach substantial areas, Lava makes glassy pahoehoe near the vents, but turns to thin sheets of scoriaceous aa lava downslope. The eruption in 1950 was an exaggerated version of this kind of activity.

The eruption was not over, the dike was making its way underground. It took about three days before the dike broke out from an elevation of 2560 meters in the Northeast Rift Zone. No earthquakes are reported to have been felt in Hilo or anywhere else on the island during the eruption or dike propagation. So any seismic activity must have been relatively weak. Once again, Coan describes:

“At daybreak on the 20th of February, we were again startled by a rapid eruption bursting out laterally on the side of the mountain facing Hilo, and about midway from the base to the summit of the mountain. This lateral crater was equally active with the one on the summit, and in a short time we perceived the molten river flowing from its orifice direct towards Hilo. The action became more and more fierce from hour to hour. Floods of lava poured out of the mountain’s side, and the glowing river soon reached the woods at the base of the mountain, a distance of twenty miles (more like 4-5 miles in reality, 20 miles would put it in the very outskirts of Hilo!). Clouds of smoke ascended and hung like a vast canopy over the mountain, or rolled off on the wings of the wind. These clouds assumed various hues, —murky, blue, white, purple or scarlet—as they were more or less illuminated from the fiery abyss below. Sometimes they resembled an inverted burning mountain with its apex pointing to the awful orifice over which it hung. Sometimes the glowing pillar would shoot up vertically for several degrees, and then describing a graceful curve, sweep off horizontally, like the tail of a comet, further than the eye could reach. The sable atmosphere of Hilo assumed a lurid appearance, and the sun’s rays fell upon us with a yellow, sickly light. Clouds of smoke careered over the ocean, carrying with them ashes, cinders, charred leaves, etc., which fell in showers upon the decks of ships approaching our coast. The light was seen more than a hundred miles at sea, and at times the purple tinge was so widely diffused as to appear like the whole firmament on fire. Ashes and capillary vitrifactions called Pele’s hair fell thick in our streets and upon the roofs of our houses. And this state of things still continues, for even now while I write, the atmosphere is in the same yellow and dingy condition; every object looks pale, and sickly showers of vitreous filaments are falling around us, and our children are gathering them.”

Coan made an ascent towards the eruption site. For four days his party cut their way through thick forests with a long knife, and walked through jagged fields of scoriaceous aa lava. Eventually they reached the eruption site on the 27th.

“After half-past three p. m. I reached the awful crater and stood alone in the light of its fires. It was a moment of unutterable interest. . . I was ten thousand feet above the sea, in a vast solitude untrodden by the foot of man or beast; amidst a silence unbroken by any living voice, and surrounded by scenes of terrific desolation. Here I stood almost blinded by the insufferable brightness; almost deafened by the startling clangor; almost petrified with the awful scene. The heat was so intense that the crater could not be approached within forty or fifty yards on the windward side, and probably, not within two miles on the leeward. The eruption as before stated, commenced on the very summit of the mountain, but it would seem that the lateral pressure of the embowelled lava was so great as to force itself out at a weaker point in the side of the mountain ; at the same time cracking and rending the mountain all the way down from the summit to the place of ejection. The eruption first issued from a depression in the mountain, but a rim of scoriae two hundred feet in elevation had already been formed around the orifice in the form of a hollow, truncated cone. This cone was about half a mile in circumference at its base, and the orifice at the top may be three hundred feet in diameter. The eruptions were not intermittent but continuous. Volumes of the fusion were constantly ascending and descending like a jet d’eau. The force which expelled these igneous columns from the orifice, shivered them into millions of fragments of unequal size, some of which would be rising, some falling, some shooting off laterally, others describing graceful curves; some moving in tangents, and some falling back in vertical lines into the mouth of the crater. During the night the scene surpassed all powers of description. Vast volumes of lava, at a white heat shot up continuously. . . A large fissure opening through the lower rim of the crater gave vent to the molten flood which constantly poured out of the orifice and rolled down the mountain in a deep, broad river at the rate, probably, of ten miles an hour.”

The eruption of 1852 was somewhat unusual. The lava carried many olivine crystals, which is called a picrite. Of the historical eruptions of Mauna Loa only the 1868 eruption was more picritic than 1852. These olivines had perhaps settled at the bottom of a magma chamber that at the time existed at the summit of the volcano.

Another oddity was the strong fountaining. The circumference of a volcanic crater roughly approximates the height of the lava fountains that have formed it, which is something I found out by comparing historical eruptions with known fountain heights to their craters. The vent of the 1852 eruption must have formed by fountains reaching 200-250 meters in height. One contemporary description estimated the fountains to range from 70 to 210 meters in height. In a later ascent, Coan also describes the large amount of pumice that the eruption produced:

“We found it ten miles from the crater, and it grew more and more abundant till we reached the cone, where it covered the entire region to a depth of five or ten feet.”’

Main cone of the 1852 of Mauna Loa. It consists of loose pumice that slumps into the crater.

The summit outbreaks of 1940 and 1949 may have had slightly higher fountains, however the high fountains of the 1852 eruption were probably sustained for much longer, probably for ~20 days that the eruption lasted. And the amount of pyroclastic material erupted in 1852 I think might well be the greatest among historical fissure eruptions of Mauna Loa.

Estimates from a publication called “Holocene eruptive history of Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii”, put the volume around 0.18 km3 or 182 million cubic meters. That makes the 1852 a more or less “normal sized” rift eruption.

There was a large earthquake, estimated at M 6.2, felt in Hilo, 20 days after the eruption ended. It is hard to know if it was or was not related to the volcanic activity. It is possible that it was a flank slip in response to the dike that had been intruded.

 

The eruptions of 1855 and 1859

After a dormancy of 3.4 years, Mauna Loa erupted again. 1852 had been a very deep draining event of the volcano, so it is remarkable that it erupted in such short notice. In comparison, 38 years have passed since the low elevation Northeast Rift Zone eruption in 1984, and while Mauna Loa is probably near erupting, we still don’t know how many more years it may take. Given that 1852 reduced at least as much pressure as 1984 did, then we can see that the supply in the 1850s was probably over ten times higher than it has been since the 1984 eruption.

The next eruption was that of 1855. This eruption was also in the Northeast Rift Zone but was of a very different character to its predecessor. 1855 is the longest flank eruption of Mauna Loa, it lasted 15 months. This difference was at least partly a matter of elevation. While the 1852 eruption happened at 2560 meters, the 1855 eruption happened at 3200 meters. It could also be a matter of the 1852 eruption having filled up the rift, allowing for the 1855 eruption overflowing more and becoming sustained. Like the 1852 eruption, no earthquakes are reported at the time of the 1855 eruption.

After the initial more violent fissure stage, the 1855 eruption stabilized and sent lava into tubes that fed a slowly growing field of pahoehoe lava. The lava came quite close to Hilo, rising concerns, but stopped before doing so.

Because of the topography, most Northeast Rift Zone lava flows will head towards Hilo, but the vast majority stop before doing so. Historically, only the 1880 lava flow would have hit part of Hilo at its present size, and before 1880 the earlier lava flows to have reached the present-day location of Hilo were two closely spaced events around 500 AD.

Coan visited the 1855 lava flow many times. Here he describes the lava tubes feeding the flow. The orifices he speaks of are what we now know as lava tube skylights:

“Early on Saturday, the 6th, we were ascending our rugged pathway, amidst steam and smoke and heat which almost blinded and scathed us. At ten we came to open orifices down which we looked into the fiery river which rushed furiously beneath our feet. Up to this we had come to no open lake or stream of active fusion. We had seen in the night many lights, like street lamps, glowing along the slope of the mountain at considerable distances from each other, while the stream made its way in a subterranean channel, traced only by these vents. From 10 a.m. and onward, these fiery vents were frequent, some of them measuring ten, twenty, fifty, or one hundred feet in diameter. In one place only we saw the river uncovered for thirty rods and rushing down a declivity of from ten to twenty-five degrees. The scene was awful, the momentum incredible, the fusion perfect (a white heat), and the velocity forty miles an hour. The banks on each side of this stream were red-hot, jagged and overhanging, adorned with burning stalactites and festooned with immense quantities of filamentose or capillary glass, called Pele’s hair. From this point to the summit crater all was inexpressibly interesting. Valve after valve opened as we went up, out of which issued fire and smoke and brimstone, and down which we looked as into the caverns of Pluto.”

Thickness map of the 1855 lava flow. Brighter colours correspond to thicker lavas reaching a maximum of 15 meters at a few places.

Using lava thicknesses which I measured in Google Earth with the help of elevation contours I got a rough estimate of the volume erupted in 1855. The approximate volume is 0.22 km3 or about 217 million cubic meters. Parts of the flow are buried under 1880 lava though and those might add a bit of volume. As such it is among the larger eruptions of Mauna Loa.

Following the 1855-56 event, 2.1 years elapsed before the next outbreak in 1859. The 1859 eruption was unusual because it did not happen along the rifts but actually on the north flank of the mountain and is thus referred to as a radial eruption. Once again the eruption had no felt seismicity on the island. The eruption started at the north side of the summit on January 23, presumably in the uppermost Northeast Rift Zone (NERZ). Soon, more fissures opened down the mountain to the west.

Initial eruption was vigorous. A large open channel of lava travelled 49 kilometres in ~7 days, plunging into the ocean. It reached the northwest coast of the island in Kiholo Bay. It is quite rare for lava flows to reach the northwest coast, and judging from radiocarbon data, this was the first time this happened in ~3000 years. A radial eruption in the north flank is in itself unusual. Only two radial fissures have opened in the north flank of Mauna Loa since the extensive summit overflows of 200-800 AD, 1859, and an event that probably happened in the 17th century.

The 1859 developed into a sustained effusion similar to 1855. Lava built a field of tube-fed pahoehoe that slowly crept towards the coast of the island and travelled those 49 kilometres once again, but this time more slowly. It formed a small lava delta by the sea. Eruption lasted 10 months. It is the second-longest flank eruption in historical times after 1855.

I have estimated the volume of the 1859 eruption at 0.36 km3 or 363 million cubic meters. I did so by measuring the lava delta thickness, and also the average thickness across different areas of the flow. I think this estimate might be more spot on than other estimates of subaerial volume. I did however miss the upper NERZ lava outbreak, which might raise the volume by a tiny amount, only later realized where this initial flow was located. The 1859 eruption is probably the largest historical flank eruption of Mauna Loa.

Approximate lava flow thickness of the 1859 lava flow. Which reaches up to 20 meters at the coastal lava delta.

Fissure systems of the two youngest radial eruptions in the north flank. These two are the only north flank radial eruptions to overlie overflows from the summit of Mauna Loa that date to ~200-800 AD. Yellow fissure system lavas are cut by Mokuaweoweo caldera faults, eruption likely was around 1650 at the time of high NERZ activity. 1859 historical fissures are shown, two fissure lines are strongly offset,

Two different fissure systems fed the 1859 eruption, which are offset from each other. This is strange. Normally fissures from a dike line up quite well. Eruptions in Piton de la Fournaise and the Galapagos often have offset fissure systems because they are not fed by normal dikes, instead intrusions there start as horizontal or inclined sheet of magma that rotate into vertical dike segments, sometimes more than one. So it is an interesting possibility that the 1859 eruption may have been fed by a more complex intrusion similar to those of the Galapagos. Hawaiian rifts are under strong tensional stresses due to flank slip. But 1859 was beyond the rifts. Perhaps it propagated through an area of different stress leading to a different intrusion geometry.

One might ask why exactly did the 1859 eruption go radial. There must be a reason for everything, after all. I think I may know the reason. 1852, 1855, and 1859 can all be considered Northeast Rift Zone events. It is the only time in which multiple NERZ events have taken place in a row.  1852 found a rift under strong tensional stresses and travelled far downrift, more so than other historical events. 1855 instead found a more compressed rift after the 1852 intrusion and erupted higher up. 1859 may have found the rift so compressed as to be un-intrudible and was simply deflected out of the rift onto the north flank.

Questions breed more questions. Why didn’t the volcano send the intrusions into the Southwest Rift Zone, or simply kept them within the summit? The volcano has different magma chambers under the summit, which are evidenced by the morphology of the summit caldera, Mokuaweoweo, and the late historical eruptions. The largest pit in the center of Mokuaweowo is the Inner Pit, now buried by lava flows, it usually produces eruptions in the summit caldera but it may be able to send them into the Northeast Rift, and rarely in radial directions down the west flank. Three pits lie to the south, the South Pit, Lua Hohonu, and Lua Hou, they are underlain by magma storage, which has produced long dikes into the Southwest Rift Zone (1950 and 1926 for example). And at the northern end of Mokuaweoweo lies the North Pit, which last seems to have been the source of a 1942 intrusion that went into the Northeast Rift, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it participated in the 1984 event together with the Inner Pit. If the 1852, 1855 and 1859 were sourced from the North Pit, it would explain why they all went into the Northeast Rift, and why 1859 was then deflected onto the north flank.

Mokuaweoweo, a map with the location of the main five ~1710 collapse craters, and of historical fissure systems shown in colours.

Questions breed even more questions. Why would the North Pit have sourced three intrusions in a row? As I will show in a future article at some point, Mokuaweoweo collapsed around 1710, destroying all five main magma chambers Mauna Loa had at the time, including the North Pit storage. All upper NERZ (Northeast Rift) prehistoric eruptions are cut by the caldera faults of Mokuaweoweo. The Inner Pit was probably the first to reactivate and erupt onto the deepest part of Mokuaweweo after 1710. The SWRZ had also reactivated around 1800 AD, producing two eruptions far down the SWRZ. But the NERZ may not have seen much, or any activity, until 1843. It is possible that the North Pit plumbing was recovered just before 1852, and that it then went to produce some sort of initial rampage of activity as this portion of the plumbing was “uncorked”. Or at least so goes my far-fetched speculation.

Considering the reported eruption volumes of 1852, 1855, and 1859, together with an estimated 1851 erupted volume of 35 million cubic meters, then 0.8 km3 were erupted from Mauna Loa in the 1850s. Doing a rough approximation of the dike intrusion volumes as 2 km deep sheets that are 2 meters thick and as long as needed to reach the lowest eruptive fissure, then the volumes of the 1851, 1852, 1855 and 1859 dike intrusions are respectively 24, 79, 52 and 48 million cubic meters. That would put the total volume of magma supplied to Mauna Loa in the 1850s at almost exactly 1 km3, similar or maybe just slightly lower than the magma influx Kilauea has shown during its long 1983-2018 Pu’u’o’o eruption. A Hawaiian volcano at its peak activity.

To be continued: The 1868 eruption

129 thoughts on “Mauna Loa from 1852 to 1868 – part 1

      • Yep, what a treat to come home from Iceland after two weeks to then become immersed in Hawaii.

        I’m quite sure you have this article series well planned Hector, but would absolutely love if at some point you could cover a bit about what we know regarding Mauna Loa’s most notable eruptions throughout the Holocene or even earlier.

        • I think I recall that due to ML’s enormous productivity, it’s difficult to study eruptions from the distant past, but I’m sure we know some interesting things at least.

          • It is hard to know anything about Hawaii more than 5000 years ago really… For Kilauea it is much less really only the past millennium. Mauna Loa has older surface but not near the rift zones.

          • I guess to put it another way in the last 1000 years about 210 km3 of magma has been fed into Hawaii. In the Holocene the number is likely close to 2500 km3. So Hawaii has the ability to do a VEI 8 at least twice in about 10,000 years in theory. In practice no but there will have been maby huge eruptions. Today big eruptions are mostly shields but I am sure there have been times where the magma systems if the volcanoes have been more extensive and had flood lava eruptions of the same scale as the bigger Icelandic examples. And not to forget the biggest effusive eruption in the past 200 years was in Hawaii 🙂

          • Chad that’s absolutely mind boggling, even at half your quoted figures.

            Given the number of large, interesting eruptions in just the past 150 years, it really makes you want to know what the most exotic or impressive eruptions were in the past 15,000 years.

            I would buy a book of just you and Hector commenting back and forth were we to discover some holy grail of Mauna Loa eruptive history from then to historic times.

            How different was the climate of Hawaii during the Pleistocene? Would that have had any impact on ML, MK, or Kilauea?

          • Mauna Loa had glaciers in the Pleistocene but there is no data on it otherwise. That is also only based on assumption it was as tall as it is now which is not certain.

            Kilauea, it probably had a massive magma chamber bigger than any basaltic volcano today. A caldera about 10×18 km in size. It also seems to have been a rarher violent volcano at the time too considering there is meters thick of ash 50 km away at south point… Still never found true info, but the rock of thecHilina formation looks like layered ash and dense lava, probably representing successive pyroclastic flows and flood lava eruptions. There is not really any volcano quite like that today. The supply was not higher than now just a way bigger magma sysyem.

          • The inactive fault scarps of the Kaoiki pali, and the northward facing fault scarps in the Koae fault zone, they are caldera ring faults. Koae has since been altered by later movement, probably a lot since it formed, and perhaps has been buried many times. Kaoiki though is inactive and hasnt moved in many millennia at the surface, there is a flow 9000 years old that is unbroken flowing over it.

            Lava flows to the south of the Koae faults are mostly about 1500-2000 years old, and there are even still areas exposing the Pleistocene lava surface, which would suggest there have been only a few times that lava has flowed in that direction at all during the Holocene. All of these are probably within the past 2000 years. No idea how deep the collapse was, but potentially if it was as deep as the known calderas of recent time have been (500 m or so) then this one could have had a volume of about 100 km3. Even a 100 meter deep caldera of this dimension is 20 km3 of magma, which would probably be a volume of lava that is bigger than Thjorsahraun.

            The eruption took place far out to sea, out of sight, it would have been an eerie scene, as the entire summit of the volcano and a large part of the side of Mauna Loa sank into the ground.

          • To the best of my knowledge it is assumed to be a slump, not a caldera. It is similar to the Hilina slump of Kilauea. Your number may be right, but it was the volume of rock that wqs on the move, not magma. And yes, it appears to have been inactive for some 30,000 years

          • I thought it was a slump too, until the idea was brought up that it is an old caldera during discussion on here. I was a bit sceptical at first but now looking it the idea seems more sensible than it being a remnant from before Kilauea was formed. Kilauea is a young volcano but still much older than the Kaoiki fault scarps.

            In reality though the structure can be a bit of both. The Kaoiki pali goes further southwest than where I stopped, but the faults are less pronounced. So there is some degree of slipping, but not much. The Koae fault scarps also do point north even through much younger lava, meaning the summit has collapsed over such a broad area at other times too just not so deeply as to create another caldera that big.

        • The origin of the Kaoiki Pali is unclear. I do think, however, that it is the edge of a 11,000 year old caldera, probably from one or more 100 meter deep collapses. I don’t think it is part of the slump structure, the slump terminates at the rift zones of the volcanoes, and Kaoiki Pali is behind the rift zones of Kilauea. Unlike with the rift zones and Hilina slump faults, no extension has been recorded historically in the Kaoiki Pali, and no fault rupture has taken place in over 9000 years, because of lava flows that old which drape the cliff and are not faulted.

          Reason to think Kaoiki Pali could be the remains of a caldera would be that it follows the edge of Kilauea’s high density intrusive core, as mapped in gravity anomalies. Also that it follows the edge of the extensive, but probably very diffuse, sill complex that deflated during and after the 2018 eruption. At times this entire sill complex may have grown more substantial and collapsed.

          • I do not think Koae faults are related to the caldera structure though. For reasons too long to explain now it is possible that the collapse was trapdoor like and only bound by tall cliffs to the north. Plus Koae faults are much later, from the past 1000-2000 years, and formed due to spreading and dike intrusions.

          • The Kaoiki Pali is covered by relatively unperturbed Pahala ash which has been dated to between 15,000 and 30,000 years ago, from Kilauea eruptions. The Pali appears to be older than this: it seems much older than 11,000 years. With this age, it is plausible it is a slump structure which became inactive when Kilauea grew larger enough to buttress the slide. Since that time, the slump has happened below Kilauea instead. The Waiohinu fault, which forms the southwestern edge of the Kaoiki Pali, is active: it moved in the 1868 earthquake

          • I do get that model for the formation of the fault system, although I may not agree with it. But certainly the Kaoiki Pali cannot be too old, or it would be largely erased by Mauna Loa flows, I doubt it could be from before Kilauea grew into a substantial edifice, since it was in its major shield stage by 100,000 years ago or so, plus Mauna Loa lavas of this age are heavily eroded and carved by canyons where they outcrop in the Ninole Hills, Kaoiki Pali is not eroded anywhere near as much.

            The last Pahala Ash was erupted about 13,000-11,000 years ago as constrained by two Mauna Loa flows which bracket the latest ash deposits. And I speculated it was this final Pahala Ash eruption or eruptions, which possibly reached VEI 5 given the enormous thickness and extent of the deposit, that was contemporaneous to the last collapse of the Kaoiki Pali. It was my understanding that the Kaoiki Pali cut the Pahala Ash but perhaps I remember wrong or misinterpreted the information. I think I read it in the Geologic Map of the Central-Southeast Flank of Mauna Loa, but I’m unsure of that either. In any case it might be a complex structure probably formed in more than one event, some of the faults may cut the latest Pahala Ash while other may predate it.

          • There are several few ash layers called ‘Pahala ash’! They have different ages. The ones lower on the south flank are around 8000-10000 years old. The one higher up is 15,000-30,000 years and the one near Hilo may be 100,000 years. Apart from the Hilo one, they come from Kilauea. https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/news/volcano-watch-one-mans-soil-another-mans-ash-especially-around-pahala and https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262261568_The_southwest_rift_zone_of_Mauna_Loa_volcano_Hawaii–implications_for_evolution_of_Hawaiian_shield_volcanoes. You may have better references and more recent work!

          • This image is worth a thousand words:

            This is an InSAR image of Kilauea sometime after the 2018 eruption, I did not save the exact time range it covers, but I think it is probably from 2019 or 2020. The portion of the storage near the summit is inflating (red), the distal parts are however still deflating (blue). I placed on top the outlines of the Kaoiki Pali faults (white) and the younger Kilauea Caldera faults (green). The reason to think it may be the edge of an ancient caldera is that the Kaoiki Pali goes parallel to the edge of the magma storage. It also runs parallel to gravity anomaly contours, and surrounds an area of particularly high gravity anomaly, which might possibly be an ultramafic layered intrusion.

          • But it is also true that Hawaiian volcanoes are closely related to their slumps, you might even call them slumpcanos. Even the magma storage can be part of the slump structure. And the distinction between a caldera and a slump can be blurry. This is the same for Piton de la Fournaise and Tenerife. Are they calderas, or slumps, or both? It gets complicated. So saying that the Kaoiki Pali is not slump would most likely be wrong. But it is also obvious that it bears a relationship to the magma storage of Kilauea, and that to some degree the area within Kaoiki Pali must have sagged or collapsed (it did so very slightly in 2018 without becoming faulted). How big may the largest collapses have been remains open for discussion, and how big the role of slumping may have been versus collapse is also an unresolved question I think.

          • “A faulted sequence of Pahala Ash crops out near the NE termination of the Kaoiki Pali (Figure 1); radiocarbon ages of the Pahala Ash range from 10,200 years old to, possibly, 31,000 years old [Rubin et al., 1987]. This indicates that the Kaoiki normal faults could have been active as recently as 10,200 years ago. These faults apparently represent a system of gravitational slumps that were active when the SE flank of Mauna Loa was capable of large seaward displacements prior to the existence of a significant edifice at Kilauea volcano”

            https://www.researchgate.net/publication/248794026_Ground_Ruptures_of_the_1974_and_1983_Kaoiki_Earthquakes_Mauna_Loa_Volcano_Hawaii

            Kaoiki Pali is draped everywhere in Mauna Loa lava younger than 9000 years, and also younger ash deposits of Kilauea on top of these flows. So the relationship with Pahala Ash can’t be known easily. There is this one mention of the Pahala Ash being cut by Kaoiki Pali faults. They then go on with that model that Kaoiki Pali was a pre-Kilauea slump, there is no way it is that old in my opinion though.

          • Hmm… if Kilauea did indeed have a large calin that period, there must’ve been massive lava-effusion eruptions happening, unless, and hear me out, the caldera was actually expanded by the slump. I think it is explained here:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Si-8rYC18x0
            Not saying that the Kaoiki Pali faults were caused by the slump (that is not up to me to concern about), but it is interesting to think about it.

          • Sorry, if Kilauea did indeed have a large CALDERA at the time (non-focused fingers).

          • You might have seen my picture above. Enormous (20+km3) lava flow on the abyssal plain erupted from the end of the Puna Ridge. Lava flowed 50 km in both directions as a single sheet, this was an eruption that would dwarf Laki innscale if ut had erupted on land. It is obviously not dated, very few of the Puna Ridge flows are, but given the size it almost confirms the Kaoiki caldera, where else would 20 km3 of lava come from.

            As for other eruptions, a caldera of that magnitude would have sat upon a massive magma system. The Galapagos volcanoes are similar, though not quite this big. Sierra Negra in 1979 erupted about 1 km3 of lava in a few weeks from a fissure system near the rim of its caldera. One can imagine that a similar or even larger eruption was probably possible at Kilauea back then. The Hilina pali has a lot of dense thick lava exposed, most likely the core of large a’a flows not unlike the lava of 2018 only they had to have originated at the summit to flow to that location.

            Really, the only reason Kilauea doesnt erupt this way today is probably because the ERZ is so well connected that magma cant accumulate under the summit in such volume. It keeps Kilauea in a perpetual state of shield building. Maybe this older style was a more mature shield, when the continuous eruptions stopped and large volumes of magma could build up. In another volcano this would evolve into a rhyolitic caldera but the supply of fresh basalt is much too high in Hawaii to let that happen until the volcanoes get a lot older.

          • Interesting, Chad.

            Was Rhyolite found at any of the older Hawaiian / Emperor Seamount volcanic systems? I.E. has the Hawaiian Hotspot produced a dacitic to rhyolitic volcano before at any point?

          • Hualalai has a large volume of trachyte. Pu’u Waawaa on the north slope of the volcano is a massive lava dome that is often described as the biggest eruption known from Hawaii, a VEI 5 eruption followed by 4 km3 of lava. I would not be entirely surprised of Hualalai was an ignimbrite shield like Furnas and Sete Cidades, back at this time a bit over 100,000 years ago. The modern volcano seems to be a new shield that was built on top of that volcano, and a bit offset from the original center.

            Mauna Kea erupts hawaiite basalt and trachyandesite, which are alkaline variants of basalt and andesite. I think Haleakala has also erupted this composition. One of the volcanoes on Oahu even erupted rhyolite but I dont remember which.

            Also to point out that Kilauea erupted andesite in 2018, and andesite that was closer in composition to dacite than it was to basalt too. It was fluid because of the high temperature and low crystal content. Actual dacite was found in a PGV well too.

          • The key thing though is evolved lavas only happen in Hawaii in the older volcanoes, or at the far ends of the active volcanoes rift zones, places where magma can sit and be left alone for many years to centuries, maybe even longer.
            There is no lava even close to being considered evolved erupting within 20 km of Kilaueas summit, nor that of Mauna Loa, and nowdays also Hualalai, all very primitive. Papers will discuss the degrees of evolution in Kilaueas magma, but this is all in a relative term, and only really applicable in comparison to itself. By any other standard all of the magma erupted from Kilaueas summit all the way to the middle of the ERZ is nearly homogeneous high Mg basalt with a very low crystal content and narrow high temperature range. The biggest outlier (1959) was only an even more extreme example of all of these things.

          • I don’t think there is rhyolite in Hawaii. There is trachyte, which is the alkaline equivalent of rhyolite. Even then it is in minor volumes. Hualalai had a brief trachytic phase 100,000 years ago, but I don’t think it was that big, not an ignimbrite shield but rather a few major lava flows/plinian eruptions from a deep storage.

            West Maui was a prolific trachyte volcano at the end of its activity, over 1.5 million years ago, may have the largest volumes of highly evolved magma. Nowadays Mauna Kea is isotopically similar to West Maui in its trachyte stage. Mauna Kea has erupted large volume eruptions of evolved magma, like trachyandesites and such, and it could very well erupt trachyte one day.

            Magma storage in not that big in Hawaii, and supply and eruption rates very high. Only Mauna Kea has long dormancies and a sizable magma storage that allows for a substantial evolution of magmas, although it is very deep at 20-25 km, not like the shallow magma chambers of caldera volcanoes. Haleakala and Hualalai, can also evolve somewhat large volumes of magma (up to a few km3?) in their deep storage, but they are more active and usually erupt only slightly evolved magma. It probably takes longer to evolve magma in deep storage because it is hotter down there.

          • I was recently surprised to know that Kilauea magmas are highly variable in magnesium and chromium, and have some variability in calcium, and silica, and possibly other elements, even during the Pu’u’o’o eruption. But this is probably due to different types of primitive magmas rising up at different times and mixing, not evolved at all I think. Only the Middle East Rift Zone seems to have some very minor magma evolution.

          • In 1987-88 a magnesium and chromium rich magma suddenly rose into Kilauea and kept erupting for several years. In 1999-2000 a calcium depleted magma appeared, while the magnesium/chromium was still somewhat high, and this calcium depleted magma was still erupting in 2018 but mixed with a little of more calcium rich magma. It is certainly complicated, far from the homogeneous melt that we may be led to believe.

    • Hi Ryan its 11 climate zones on the Big Island.. during the Last Glacial Maximum the summits woud have been glaciated ( Mauna Loa woud have a small Vatnajökull on it ) and Mauna Kea an Ice cap

      Hawaii lowlands woud have still remained warm and probaly wet as today on the East side because of ortographic rainfall

      Today Hawaii is around 28 to 34 C all year around on sealevel in the more sunny dry areras on Big Island, during LGM with lower cO2 perhaps we woud have 25 to 28 C so still tropical, but the Big Island summits woud be much much colder than today and perhaps frequent snow perhaps down to 1900 m elevation

  1. The flow thickness maps are a very nice touch 🙂

    That fissure up on the NERZ, apparently is the fissure that happened at the summit in 1852, not 1859.

    “Like most Hawaiian shield volcanoes, Mauna Loa has two primary rift zones (Fig. 1). Additionally, 44 vents (Trusdell, pers. comm., 2004) are radially distributed on the western and northern subaerial flanks of the volcano, including three post-1832 eruptions (1852, 1859 and 1877; Fornari et al., 1980; Macdonald et al., 1983)

    http://www.geo.umass.edu/xrf/Shield_stage_alkalic_volcanism.pdf (page 2)

    Although until I read this I had assumed the fissure to be from 1859, and I am not sure why a NERZ eruption would have begun with a radial vent near the summit. If you look closely at the upper end of the fissure you can also see that it curves to follow the rift zone as it goes into the caldera fault, where it ends.

    My idea though on 1859 is it is an eccentric eruption, not coming from any of the chambers that are under Mokuaweoweo. It is a bit like the 1959 lava at Kilauea Iki, and actually Kilauea Iki itself, erupting outside of the rift zone and having very hot lava with a more primitive composition. Kilauea Iki was followed by an eruption on the ERZ in 1960 despite being an eccentric eruption with respect to Halemaumau, the plumbing deep down at both Kilauea and Mauna Loa is a bit of a mystery I think. The active bit we see is known, but the volcanoes have grown up so the active rift will have also got higher up within the structure in relation, so there must be much more hidden deeper down that is hard to see but probably important. I guess that ends up being the same sort of thing as the ‘deep rift’.

    • Thanks chad, those lava flow thickness map were NOT easy to make, and that is why I stopped at 1855 and 1859. I have mapped Hapaimamu too though, 0.9 km3 subaerial, and 1.7 km3 underwater.

      Historical records clearly mention that the 1859 first broke out near the caldera in the upper northeast rift zone. They also mention that this initial outbreak sent lava flows both towards the north and west sides of the mountain. This descriptions seem to match fissure you mention, and have mapped, to the 1859 eruption, because there is no other flow of the right age that went west from the upper NERZ. it is also highly unlikely that fissure would be from 1852 since it does not really line up with the path followed by the 1852 dike. So that is an error in most existing maps I believe. This is not surprising and another error in official USGS maps is of the scale of an entire eruption that they invented, the “1903” lava flow in the SWRZ, which is actually prehistorical and also two eruptions not one, formerly known as the Pele Iki flows. 1903 was in reality a small summit eruption. The Pele Iki flows are cracked by the 1868 dike, more weathered than any historical eruption, and not mentioned in historical records. So not always is the official source correct.

      • I guess considering even for prehistoric examples we are talking about only a couple centuries, the dating isnt going to be easy. And with Mauna aloa being so far away from Hilo or Kona they will only accurately see the larger flank eruptions unless an expedition went up there.

        Regarding the 1903 eruption they actually did put those flows as prehistoric before the new map, with mention they might be from 1832 but with no reason given. The two cracks that go over the flows are assigned as 1907 vents. Only the very end of such is actually in the map though… until they release the whole volcano map it is a bit of a grey area. There are lots of tiny vents on Mauna Loa that may or may not be associated with known large eruptions since 1843. And the 1950 flows flooding all of the rift between the summit and the other eruptions doesnt help either…

        Next SWRZ eruption will be very informative I think, and might well be quite soon before 2030.

        • There a multiple cracks systems going across the Pele Iki “1903” flows. The most obvious is the large continuous fracture which has degassed abundant sulphur and erupted some lava, this seems to be from 1907. Then there is another fracture system that cuts the westernmost Pele Iki flow, and it lines up with the 1887 fissures, so is probably from that dike. More to the southeast, just before the flows enter the forested area, there are several huge parallel cracks that, given their location far downrift, can only be from 1868. I think the two dikes that produced the Pele Iki flows are probably the same that produced the two Manuka flow fissures further downrift, probably two closely spaced eruptions around 1800-1810, before historic observations began.

          • I mapped the crack with sulfur around it as 1907, I couldnt find any other crack that lines up with the 1877 fissures though. I also found possible expression of the Pele Iki fissures going under the historical flows as well as an exposure of the flows underneath the 1916 lava that seems to have a lava pond (filled with 1916 lava) that likely represents a vent, it looks like it was a quite big eruption and long fissure although maybe not with the same intensity as the historical examples as flows didnt go as far.

            I did find the possible 1868 cracks. I dont know if they are dike cracks though, they dont line up with the fissure or where a dike would need to go to erupt where it did. There is a pit crater above the 1868 fissures, that does line up. The cracks look more like tectonic fractures from the flank slipping as opposed to where the magma nearly erupted.

            But I am very interested in the final analysis, I think maybe it was slightly spoiled as the article header is a diagram that isnt on the page itself 🙂

            Side note, Pu’u O’o has stopped contracting, the GPS trend is certain now not just a short variation. It looks like maybe the pressure underground has begun to push magma beyond the summit instead of into the lake. Filling of the lake has been very slow since September, I guess now we know why.

          • Picture is actually quite dark… It didnt look like that until upload.

          • No I actually found why, I put a transparent black polygon over the area so my drawings stand out more. But when put into image it gets much darker than it really is…

            This one should be much better:

          • If you follow the 1887 fissures uprift you can see the system continues as fractures, eventually as you follow the fractures some of them cut the Pele Iki lava.

            It seems to me that at some point the dikes in the SWRZ start jumping sideways. None of the dikes of 1868, 1887 or 1907 can be traced in a straight line to the summit, even though reports do talk of degassing fissures that opened in 1868 at various elevations through the rift. And also 1907 broke out somewhere in the middle of the rift. It is likely that the dikes at some point jumped away to the south after following a path similar to that of 1950. The large cracks in the Pele Iki flow I think might be short dike segments formed as the 1868 dike “jumped” to the south. You might recall how the 1974 SWRZ fissures of Kilauea are offset from each other, each one more to the south than the previous one, I think here may be similar but more extreme. Otherwise I’m not sure what could have made those cracks, there is no active slump or strike-slip fault there as far as I know.

            This is my interpretation of fissures and fracture systems of the SWRZ. Green is the Pele Iki and Manuka fissures (two separate eruptions), light blue 1907, orange 1887, and yellow 1868:

          • Interesting, it does make sense the comparison to the 1974 fissures in the Kau desert. Although those are relatively smaller scale and could be explained as a surface level phenomenon. My interpretation was that the intrusions for 1969, 1887 etc that went that far down the rift were deeper, and deviated from the rift after rising up a bit. Not an eccentric eruption, but deeper down than the dikes of the 1916-1950 eruptions that stayed on the more obvious part of the rift. I was never able to explain the small 1950 vents on the west flank, far west of the major fissures. On my map I put it as a strange sort of radial dike that then curved to follow the rift much further out, but I was never satisfied with that. Although, in saying that it would follow the trend of your map…

          • Nearly every eruption of Mauna Loa has started from the summit complex of pit craters, only exceptions are 1916 and 1919 I think. So I don’t think there is such a thing as an eccentric eruption of Mauna Loa. Your idea of 1868, 1887 and 1907 being deeper intrusions would make sense to me, at depth the dike might be rotated and open shallow fissures at an angle to the deep direction, that way the shallow fissures would not line up perfectly with the rift axis. I think they would have become deep and deviated from the shallow direction only when reaching far downrift, more or less where the Pele Iki fissures are located. This unconventional path would be due to stronger tensile stresses prevailing in the distal rift at the time of these intrusions. It is a shame InSAR did not exist back then.

            Those small fissures from 1950 that are offset from the rift really bug me. I don’t think they are normal radial dikes. I think there is deeper mystery hiding there, but one I don’t know the answer to. Sometimes we picture dikes as perfect vertical sheets of magma, and while they can be this way it is a complete spectrum between a vertical dike and a horizontal sill, complex intermediate geometries could be important in these weird cases. Changing stress conditions in the rift will likely favour complicated changes in the geometry of the intrusions.

          • Actually I thought of a good reason, that makes perfect sense with other stuff, of why the 1868 dike followed the path it did. It is somewhat related to what we’ve talked but not the same. I will include it in part 2.

          • I guess the other option is that the dikes dont all necessarily follow the crest of the rift. If they are deeper down and rise later then there could be a deeper stress gradient that is a bit more to the east of the surface expression of the rift, dominated by the south flank movement and Kilauea rather than the effect of high altitude up at the crest. But this is only speculation. It just bothers me a bit that the rift would make such a bend so far away, at Kilauea it makes sense as the bend is right at the start where the system is highly active but at Mauna Loa the distal SWRZ can go many decades even centuries between eruptions, and millennia in the area where 1868 happened. No conduit there I would think.

          • The bend has several causes. Mauna Loa has always been a curved volcano, because it grew up on the flank of the older volcanoes to the north (now far past their prime). There is a small shield volcano on the bend, presumably fed by magma coming down the rift and stalling there. These rifts are not immovable. That is clear at Kilauea where the rift is locate quite a bit south of the caldera: originally the volcano would have been on the rift, but over time the slumping of the flank took the rift southwards while the volcano stayed where it was. This also happened at Mauna Loa. Its flank no longer slumps southward, being stopped from doing so by Kilauea southwest rift. (I do wonder whether the Pahala quakes are caused by a protest movement ‘free slump’). But it still slumps westward, which is where the major collapses have been been. This slump has carried the southwest rift with it. Originally the rift went a lot straighter and more southwest, but the top 20 kilometer or so are now much more westward than they used to be. This zone still has a tendency to erupt to the west, rather than to the south. Hence the bend and eastward jump of the rift, and hence the small satellite shield.

  2. Great stuff! That means Mauna Loa can perhaps produce around 10 km3 per 100 years so yes a real monster of a volcano. But after 1950 that supply may have been alot lower.
    Still Mauna Loa is probaly the most scary basaltic volcano at anytime knowing the sheer speed of some of its eruptions

    Eruptions at start can be a 100 million cubic meters an hour .. but that enormous output tends to drop fast when a Fissure opens.
    The 1859 eruption looks like a Holuhraun very much placed on the slope, from space you woud have long incandecent ribbon there
    Here is one of the enormous 1859 vents https://www.google.se/maps/@19.5607397,-155.635944,16z/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=sv

    I been to Big Island many times and seen Mauna Loa many times, the enormous size of its edifice and volume, makes it in my opinion the worlds most spectacular volcano by far 🙂

    • If you want to be fair, Mauna Loa is actually two volcanoes. Mauna Loa as used in a literal sense to define the whole mountain, also includes Kilauea on its side, as well as the volcano of which the name is given. Of course they are separate as volcanoes and do their own thing mostly, but at the surface they are both parts of the same mountain.
      At least until Kilauea gets taller, which might not happen until the ERZ is too long for magma to reach its far end before a summit eruption is preferred, apparently that point has not been reached even though the ERZ is one of the longest rifts of any Hawaiian volcano… So the mountain is only to grow in future, the Big Island is going to become the Bigger Island.

      Will have to go back to Hawaii for sure, to see Kilauea and how it has changed, as it most surely will in the next few years. And maybe by then Mauna Loa will have finally erupted, maybe I wil lget lucky and get to watch it erupt from Keanakako’i framing the backdrop to Kilaueas caldera and lava lake, the best spot for a volcano tourist this planet can provide in my opinion 🙂

    • Yes Kilaūea is an absolute monster
      Probaly will grow larger than Mauna Loa s pile in the future

  3. Actually, recalling that you give the age of the Hapaimanu eruption as being probably from the 13th century, what is the eruption that created Mokuaweoweo? The 1710 date is from the age of the Hapaimanu eruption on the newest lava age maps, as the youngest really big eruption.

    • I saw that the Hapaimamu lavas were a lot more weathered that the ~1810 Manuka lavas. So I thought should be much older and went into one of my very far-fetched speculations that perhaps had ended the big long lived eruptions of the SWRZ and was about 1200. This reasoning later proved to be incorrect.

      When looking at the stratigraphy of the upper NERZ for the present articles, it became clear that the Mokuaweoweo caldera faults cut every single prehistorical lava flow that can be found there, and we know there were many eruptions there in the 17th century, at least four major flank eruptions, three of which are radiocarbon dated to about 1650-1700. Which means Mokuaweoweo does postdate the 17th century eruptions. And Hapaimamu is the only eruption that could have done so, only eruption that is big enough, and fast enough to have formed Mokuaweoweo, and could have the right age. Hapaimamu has one radiocarbon age of 1710, which I was unsure of, but in light of the stratigraphy does fit quite well.

      • Also fits well with the story surrounding it, Na Pu’u a Pele dounds like a recalling of a recent event, not something from far back when the islands were discovered. The story was written nown in about 1916, only 200 years after the event.

        2.6 km3 volume. My original estimates always came out way higher at one point as high as 9 km3 🙂 but more consistently about 5 km3. I did that before the 2018 lava was accurately mapped underwater though, the lava is steeper there and doesnt go as far offshore as I thought before, although the volume was bigger than I thought.
        Hapaimanu cone does begin a lava channel that is very similar dimension to the one leaving fissure 8, where it was very fast before spreading out a bit further north. Would tend to infer a similar eruption rate. The eruption could have lasted 6 months. Probably a large part of the volume, maybe 1/3 was erupted on the first day in the massive flood of lava the story describes. Given the long gap since the last eruption in the area it sounds as though many were taken by surprise. We got very lucky in 2018 that it wasnt summit magma from the start I think…

  4. I think there is possibly another pulse of magma into Mauna Loa. The tiltmeter stopped showing the daily (tidal?) variations and has gone up continuously for the past couple days. More quakes in the past few days too. Maybe all the magma in the deeper system of the volcano that has been intruding since 2002 has finally found a path up. If true, the wait might not be much longer…

    • Hopes it goes off ”jesperian” in scale
      But there is No volcano thats too large for me either ..

    • Have you checked the weather? The lack of a diurnal variation normally means it was cloudy.

      • I didnt check, you are probably right on that Albert. But there were also a few more quakes than before so it might be a few factors.

        • There was a larger summit quake a few weeks ago after which activity went down. Over the past week it ramped up again, now off-summit.

  5. Thanks for a fine tale! I went off to see a comparison, Holuhraun, which the wiki suggests was 1.6 km³. That was a fun eruption because you could watch the dike form in nearly real time from the earth tremors shown on IMO’s map. They stretched NE and stretched and stretched for weeks, then finally found a pathway to the surface.

    The picrite eruption was fascinating too, which got me to the wonderful photos of the sand at Papakolea Beach, which is mostly olivine crystals. That wiki says they are eroded from tuff layers, and from the look of them those tuff layers are 100 m thick. What an eruption that must’ve been! Or a series of them given all the layers.

    • Papakolea must have been a big tuff cone like Kapoho crater down in Puna, or a littoral cone. Shows at some point eruptions from Mauna Loa were able to get all the way to the ocean at South Point. There is a single Holocene eruption near South Point but otherwise all buried under Pleistocene ash from Kilauea. Might be a bit of evidence Mauna Loa has reached a peak of activity and has slowed down a little.

    • Thanks Bruce. Holuhraun had an amazing seismic sequence, we may not see such an elegant swarm for a long time.

      • The reactivation of Reykjanes is similar in scale and interesting movement, it is different in some aspects though.

        I do not think we are far away from the next Holuhraun type of sequence, even on a humanly graspable timescale. But that is for a future article.

  6. To briefly go back to the EV discussion, this is basically where Australia is at Carl…

    https://driveteslacanada.ca/supercharger/tesla-wins-part-of-40-million-fund-to-build-32-new-superchargers-in-australia/

    Monumental leap from last year but probably what Europe does in a week, and what China does in a day… But then it looks like the S curve has begun to go up here, it should be only a few years and maybe Sweden will get some competition down under 🙂 One can dream…

    • I think you underestimate the explosion of chargers here.
      Just as an example, in Stockholm they just finnished a new parking garage with 1000 chargers in it… Last year only here in Sweden we installed 20 chargers per day.
      And on top of that half a million wall-chargers at home.

      Edit: People are starting to understand now that it will take quite an upgrade even to our super-charged electricity system to cope with the electrification of everything… Building infra-structure and new production is all of a sudden a very hot business.

      • Yes, that is a lot more than I was aware of. Although I found out later that the number if chargers installed in Australia, planned for the next years, is a lot more than 32 🙂

        It is a win in either case though.

  7. The lava lake at Kilauea has dropped in elevation by about 1.5 meters in the past 3 days. It is still as active as it usually is, seems to be that the massive lake in the caldera is draining back into the conduit as a location somewhere else underground has become available. The conduit is still open allowing the lake to circulate. I guess in a way this counts as a pause in the eruption, given magma flow is negative into the lake… 🙂

    Given the GPS is showing inflation both in cross caldera and vertical at the summit, and also a stop in contraction of the ERZ, maybe even some upward movement, this could be the start of something. Maybe Kilauea is jealous of Mauna Loa getting all the attention recently 🙂

    • Kilauea just started its recovery from a DI event in the last hours. That is probably the explanation for the drop in lake level. Gas levels (SO2) do not show any increase. The situation seems fairly stable, with slow minor inflation

      • It has not dropped this much in some time though, it has flatlined at times but there have been many DIs like recently and the lake hasnt dropped like this.

        The 1 week quake plot is also showing the SWRZ feeder very clear now, and a ring of quakes around the caldera. Up until recently you needed to go for the whole month to get a similar picture.

        • This was the third DI event over the past month. It was a little deeper and longer lasting than the previous two. The one of 25 October also gave a lake decline but not as much as the current one. Let’s see whether the lava lake recovers

          • I noticed today that there is also quakes in the area of Namakanipaio, next to Kaoiki pali and west of the caldera. Big earthquakes in this area are associated with flank slip at Mauna Loa like in 1983, but these small ones particularly in this area seem to be a Kilauea thing, when there is pressure within the main magma chamber. I noticed them before the recent intrusion, and they were noted by USGS before both of the eruptions after 2018 and the intrusions preceding them. Something is going to happen, judging by the quake locations there could be an intrusion and maybe eruption on the SWRZ some time before years end.

            I am also curious to what affect this will have on Mauna Loa. It wont induce a summit eruption but if a SWRZ i trusion happens at Kilauea now it might be enough to trigger movement at Hilea, and set off a big quake there. All the eruptions of 1868-1950 on the SWRZ were when Kilauea was less active, now that is not the case, the dynamics could play out a lot differently.

  8. Kilaueas crusted lava pond in Halema’uma’u is rising more slowly now I think It sheldued to overflow on November 11

  9. I’ve been thinking about Mount Chimbarazo in Ecuador. To me, it seems like this is also a possibility to at some point in the future, maybe far ahead in the future to have a caldera collapse. Or am i being wrong here?

    • No that is a possibility, most tall stratovolcanoes are probably doomed to become calderas at some point. Chimborazo might still be in the stratovolcano stage though and just not very active.

      It might be that one of its beighbors has taken over the magma in the area though. Tungurahua is quite active, so is Cotopaxi, and the Andes is known to have many huge batholiths that feed lots of volcanoes.

    • A small correction, the usual end is a flank collapse, or that they just fall asleep and never wake up.
      About 1 in 10 go caldera, but there are many of them.

      Chimborazo is a good candidate though, if memory serves it is showing evidence of forming a ringfault.

  10. Amazing that Mauna Loas was summited as Early as the latest 1700 s .. this an immense volcano really and the huge distances to walk and with No Car aviable back then are truley enormous. And first is the murderously hot lowlands that haves to be traversed which takes days. You are also figthing an ever so gentle slope. Up at Mauna Loa.. cold weather and lack of water woud be problematic for any expeditions. It was summited by europeans in late 1700 s I think

    • I believe that the main problem was not the distance or altitude but the complete lack of water.

    • Back then they had better legs, and slaves to carry their palatial tents and barrels of grog.
      Nobody drank water back then anyway, so water was not a problem.

      Edit: I am serious about not drinking water. Back then you died if you drank water, so beer, wine or grog was the prefered option to stay alive. Drinking water is a fairly new thing that came with water filtration plants and distributed water systems.
      Being half slobbered all the time probably explains why so many back then got insane ideas like climbing huge honking volcanoes.

      Edit 2: Now I want a barrel of grog and climb a volcano.

      Edit 3: It was common among explorers back then to bring a full sized bed-post bed with them as they explored. And tables, chairs, the works. And obviously a full sized cast-iron stove and a chef to cook. I really feel for the hundreds of slaves that had to cart all of that shit up mountains and across continents.

      • Were the Haitians slaves?
        I didn’t think so.
        Come to think of it quite likely one tribe would enslave people from another tribe.
        Seems to be normal in all societies outside post viking europe, although serfs were slaves in all but name.

      • Polynesians… are native Hawaiians ..

        No .. classical sterotypical slaves does not generaly exist in souch societies, and persons with ”slave” status where treated quite well

        I doubt they had slaves at all

        And the expedition was organized by the European Sea sailors rather than some Hawaii king

        • “European Sea sailors”
          Might have been a couple making certain that the rounded up natives did as told.
          The surgeon and botanist Archibald Menzies was the name of the explorer.
          He was accompanied by a preacher, and “Hawaiian Attendants” that carried all of the crapola up.

          In regards of water, grog up, and coconuts on the way down (I guess they had run out of grog).
          Water I tell ye is a most dangerous fluid to drink. 😉

    • That hike is tremedous really : ) and was only done again in the later part of Early 1800 s .. Early European Explorers where amazed as well by Mauna Loa s size and ovestimated its height to well over 5000 m above sealevel

      The lowlands are awfuly hot in the day
      So you go durning the evenings or mornings Althrough gets colder as you go up. Must have been also a mess of plants and thorns and branches in the Kona lowlands. Althrough trails existed after 1500 years of native Hawaiian habitation.

    • I loves the Big Island and specialy the tropical small town feel … Kailua Kona and the Kona Coast .. haves To be the most pleasant mentaly place to live on the planet. I like the coast as well with clear blue waters and black lava rocks, and colonial style Hawaiian houses

      I wants property three like mad mayhem because its so soothing and calming .. but its a general lack of healthcare and jobs …

      But yes Im addicted to the Big Island of Hawaii 🙂

    • I seen Mauna Loa many times in person

      And I haves to say its the worlds most insane Magnificent volcano.. its sheer size is beyond magnificent and an immense snow cap on top in winter. On some places in Kona AirPort you can get a glimpse of Mauna Loas summit behind Hualalai.. its size is stuff of insanity it goes on forever really.

      It dwarf Etna .. it dwarf anything really
      Most persons that go To Big Island dont know where the volcano is because its so insanely huge and most New arrivals confuse the smaller Big Island peaks with Mauna Loa as well.

      A helicopter ride along Konas coast at 2 km elevation is the only way to see the bulk of Mauna Loa really

    • It is possible to right click anywhere at the very top of that page in the banner that includes the search box and sign in link, select translate if you are using chrome browser. I am not familiar with other browsers.

  11. I am most interested in why Mauna Loa has been in its longest historical dormancy, and what the end of that dormancy might look like.

    With the explosive volcanoes, long dormancy can mean a nasty eruption.
    Mauna Loa is basaltic though.

    • It is dormant becausevKilauea is very active. The base rate of magma generation in Hawaii is at least 0.21 km3 per year, that is required to build the Big Island in its known age (about 1 million years, maybe slightly older). Nit all of the magma erupts but it has a much higher petcent than is the case in Iceland, when Pu’u O’o was erupting the rate was sustained as high as 0.2 km3/year in the mid 2000s, and averaged 0.12 km3. So over 50% will erupt, a very high figure for basaltic volcanism.

      This post is about a decade that Mauna Loa was dominant. The cycle is a bit one sided, Kilauea has been dominant for 70 years now while Mauna Loa was only truly at its peak for about 10, but it is far from dead.

      But as can be seen in 1984, and also with the major 1924 rifting at Kapoho, the non-dominant volcano can still do large scale activity, just much less often than at the peak. 1984 was by volume one of Mauna Loas biggest eruptions. The bext eruption will probably stay at the summit but if it begins directly from the SWRZ craters like 1950 things could get scary very fast…

      • What you are saying somewhat implies Mauna Loa and Kilauea share quite a bit of plumbing. Do they share magma chambers? Or are they branches of the same magma plume?

        Why does the magma switch from one side to the other?

        • Those really are all unknowns but it is pretty clear that they do alternate in activity. They dont share any plumbing above the mantle though, which might imply the plume head has got a high enough melt fraction to allow for a hydraulic interaction.

          I would guess Kama’ehuakanaloa (Loihi) has an interaction too, and probably also Hualalai, but neither is in prime real estate for the plume. Mauna Loa does get its magma from a deeper level than Kilauea at present, most likely the result of its great elevation pushing the crust down. Deep magma quakes are up to 45-50 km underneath Mauna Loa, while those under Kilauea mostly stop above 20 km. Kilauea does get some magma at 50 km depth though, maybe even as much as 90 km in its early history, it is really not clear cut.

          It could also be that the whole thing at both volcanoes is driven by how much Kilaueas ERZ can move. The highest magma flow rates were when Pu’u O’o was active, wgich as it says in the article was actually a bit higher rate than even the most productive decade at Mauna Loa. It is a bit misleading as Mauna Loa has big eruptions, while Kilauea erupts slowly for a very long time, although the relative interval and intensity of eruptions down in Puna is very similar to Mauna Loa.

          • Interesting. 40-50 km isn’t as deep as the quakes in Indonesia, they get some 200-500 km deep, probably because of the subduction not a mantle plume. But some of these are in the Banda sea.

            Source: me being somewhat obsessed with the Sunda arc for a few years.

          • Yes that is subduction related. The mantle under Hawaii is the hottest part of the mantle near the surface anywhere on our planet. It is the hottest lava known for the Cenozoic, and none of the LIPs in the Mesozoic have as high a maximum known magma temperature.

            Olivine with over 90% Mg is known from Mauna Loa and the much older Puhahonu shield (Gardner Pinnacle). Both of these crystals formed in magma that was over 1600 C. The hottest confirmed observed lava temperatures are also from Hawaii, at Kilauea Iki in 1959 (1280 C) although the normal temperature is about 100 C less. Lava over 1200 C was also erupted in 1965 at Makaopuhi crater, and 1968 at Hi’iaka crater, both on the ERZ, and the lava lake before 2018. Some crystals in the 2018 lava were formed in magma that was at 1370 C.

            It would be a very rare event to get earthquakes in mantle this hot I think. Most of those seem to be related to the weight of the island and it pushing down the crust.

    • Longest dormancy only over the historical period. We do not know what the eruption frequency was more than 200 years ago, and there are claims that the the 19th and 20th century were exceptional for Mauna Loa. The current lull may be more typical, for all we know. But yes, the next eruption may be larger although not explosive

      • Apparently the average interval is about 6 years, but this seems unlikely given that Mauna Loa firat erupted historically in 1843. Therevis a dubious report of it erupting in 1832 seen from Maui but not anywhere on the Big Island… the Manuka flow down on the SWRZ abive and a bit west of Ocean View is early 19th century age, about 1810. An eruption is also supposed to have happened a short time after Cooks visit, in about 1780. It seems unlikely there is much more, most eruptions are at the summit but it seems rare to have a summit eruption that isnt followed by an eruption that goes onto the flank before another summit only eruption. Only examples might be 1868 to 1877 but that could have been one long eruption.

        So it does look like periods of high activity are relatively rare. 1780 to 1810 is 30 years, and 1810 to 1843 is 34 years. Time since 1984 is still longer but not really significant. Seems a lot less likely now that the next eruption will be different, a summit eruption followed by a flank eruption in the decade after, and then likely nothing for a long time again. That being said, eruptions in the low periods are not any less voluminous, 1984 was one of Mauna Loas biggest eruptions, so it seems the mode of operation doesnt change just the rate of magma supply.

        To me though, Kilauea having a caldera collapse for real seems a bigger threat long term. There are always thousands of people up in the park and surge deposits go up to 20 km from the caldera in past events.

    • There may have been a series of three massive, long lived, closely-spaced eruptions in the SWRZ around 1550. Kolo, Kipahoehoe, and Kalahiki. These eruptions may have followed a period of relative quiescence from 1200 to 1550, not full dormancy, but with just a few eruptions in the NERZ, and no activity in the SWRZ.

      There may be a tendency for other times when long periods of quiescence were broken for multiple large long lived eruptions happened. The two large long-lived Keapohina eruptions in the SWRZ in ~1200 probably followed a century or two of low activity. Puukapanaha and Kipukamaunaiu normal-sized long-lived eruptions probably broke a relative quiescence between the ~1550 period of activity and renewed high activity in the the late 17th century. 1855 and 1859 may have been so large and long-lived because it was a return to high activity after over a century of low activity. But this is hard to know for sure without more data on prehistorical eruptions.

      In any case the next eruption could very well be in the summit of Mauna Loa and be a small unexceptional eruption. So I don’t think it will necessarily be anything big. The dormancy since 1984 has also been relatively short I think. Longer periods of low activity have probably happened.

      • The thing is an ‘unexceptional’ eruption at Mauna Loa is still a fissure of an intensity that is usually reserved for explosive eruptions. All of the summit eruptions had initial eruption rates that were in the many thousands of m3/s range, though often only for an hour or so. But nowdays we have webcams to catch this 🙂

  12. Definitely something going on at Kilauea, the caldera is lit up with quakes now on only the weekly map, the Kaoiki quakes are not stopping if anything they are getting stronger. Also is confirmed pressure back at Pu’u O’o. All of this contrasting with an SO2 rate of 550 tons 2 days ago, and a total flatlining of the lake. It has reached its limit, the caldera cant fill more in its current state, the only other option is out the side…

    SWRZ, December 9 2022, eruption between Pu’u Koae and the Kamakaia Hills.

    • With Kilaueas enormous supply Do you think the next flank eruption coud Re – grow a decades long pahoehoe shield? Infact its normal for Kilaūea to erupt non stop during a humans lifetime

      • Not the next eruption, but maybe if the middle ERZ starts seeing a lot of intrusions and eruptions again there is a high possibility. The area Pu’u O’o formed in began erupting in 1961, and maybe had intrusions even in 1955. Mauna Ulu also erupted in an area which had been gettingbintrusions and small eruptions for a while before. It was filling underground, and then when there was no more space is when you could suddenly put the full supply to the eruption. It is a myth that there was a dike from the summit to Pu’u O’o, the dike to Pu’u O’o began basically within a few km of the vent itself, within or east of Napau, all the rest was there already for who knows how long. I think the magma system in the MERZ has expanded a lot since the 1960s though.

    • Some earlier Kilaūea shields lasted 100 s of years so woud not supprise me

  13. Hector I think you might find this very interesting.
    This is part of the 1823 flows on Kilauea, it looks like there might have been two eruptions in that year. On the lower section of the rift there is a second smaller vent on the side of a hill to the west of the Great Crack, and this flows is clearly overlain by the lava erupted from the Crack itself.

    There are 3 tiny patches of lava uphill erupted from another crack too, again well west of the Great Crack, and which really you would never see without the USGS shapefiles but they are there nonetheless. It is looking like this eruption was not entirely just a Nyiragongo style conduit failure but something of an actual rifting episode, or a number of intrusions and perhaps a few tiny eruptions into this area that then all reached a peak with a single huge and very fast eruption that did take the character of a conduit failure. The way the flows washed up and appear to have eroded the base of some cones caught in the path.

    Might also be the case for the eruption in 1840, which was also very fast and came from a long dike beginning in the upper ERZ not the main intrusive complex. There is mention of a suspected intrusion in 1838 into the area, and the equally massive drainout in 1832 was not accompanied by a confirmed eruption on the flank, perhaps it was erupted after all just 8 years later when the pressure had returned and the situation was just right.

    All of this could well mean that the volume of the lake is actually not critically important to driving a flank eruption, I had previously thought it unlikely for there to be any sort of fast flank eruption for several years at least but seeing the ongoing increase in quakes at Kilauea with preference to the southwest, as well as the lake not rising and declining SO2 without actually having any visible change in activity level at the surface, it looks like the lake has reached a maximum elevation or depth where it cant rise anymore and magma is being forced elsewhere, like into the ERZ intrusive complex, and apparently moreso pressurizing the SWRZ connector or possibly the sill from August last year. Which only really leaves one other option…

    • Will soon have a flank eruption: ) 1823 eruption was very much a lava flash flood with super – low viscosity, yes Looking alot like Nyiragongos floods and probaly degassed as well. Must have been long lines of dome fountains since 1823 did not form any spatter or cinder cones. It coud also be very intense lava fountains where everything flows away.. Mauna Loas fountain floods dont form cones either during the first hours

    • 1823 was an insane event really and mostly flood sheet pahoehoe and relativly little Aa .. so very hot and fluid stuff and some SWRZ magmas are extremely primitive specialy so those that are close to the caldera. Infact 1823 reminds Me of a miniatyre version of Athabasca Valles lava flood on Mars in some morphological features

      • There are some similarities yes, like the thin flows covering a wide area, and the erosion of the fissure by the lava. It is fortunate that a repeat of this today would be largely harmless although the actual 1823 eruption might have overrun a village so not the case then…

        Based on the eruptions at Nyidagongo, and also the lava flow from Pu’u O’o in August 2011, the main part of these flows begins at peak srength immediately and is mostly over in an hour. The Nyiragongo eruptions also see fountaining, despite being a degassed magma, so it is likely the Great Crack was a curtain of fire.

      • All of Mauna Loa fissures have that features as well lavas flood sheets close to the vents.. so very similar

    • And Kilaūea also Dwarfs Absoutley Dwarfs Nyiragongo in mass and capbilities.. but it dwarf pretty much all other volcanoes

      But yellowstone is huge too

      • For these lava lake drainouts the height and the volume of magma is more important than the full size of a volcano I think. Nyiragongo is not very big but it does have a sizable crater, presumably a true caldera but it might also be just a collapsed conduit, without a ring fault. There is also a steady supply there, not very high long term but seems there isnt really any deep connections that can sap magma outside of rifting events so it just slowly fills until the cone fails. Nyiragongo is also very tall, from Goma it is 1800 m tall considering it is only 13 km wide.

        Kilauea has a way bigger caldera, the lava lake today is probably more voluminous than any of the Nyiragongo lava lakes have ever been by a wide margin. But Kilauea is abotu half the elevation of Nyiragongo, even being generous it is about 50% less to the elevation that the 1823 and 1840 eruptions happened at. And unlike at Nyiragongo where the fissures were only 9 km max from the lava lake (and 5 km for the biggest fissure) the Kilauea eruptions at least 21 km away for 1823, and over 30 km for the main 1840 fissure direct line (and longer along the rift). Gradient of the slope is also much lower, generally there is probably needed to be a lot more magma to make one of these eruptions at Kilauea than at Nyiragongo, maybe why there has only been 2 eruptions like this in 200 years, where Nyiragongo has had 3 in 50 years.

        Although, the two big lava lake breakout eruptionss Kilauea did were only 17 years apart and with another big drain (submarine eruption?) in between, and then another last drain with minor eruption 28 years later, so maybe there isnt a big difference… But it does look like the events on kilauea are much more complicated, not a 1 hour event like Nyiragongo but a long term thing, intrusions sneaking into the area slowly, until the path is complete and the floodgates of hell open… The final event though, does seem very fast.

        All of the above applies even more so to Mauna Loa. Mokuaweoweo is the same size as Kilauea, so the magma volumes available are about the same, not bigger as is often presumed. Mauna Loa is twice as steep though, the lowest 1950 vents are 1600 meters lower and 21 km further downrift than the ones up near Lua Hou where it began. So Mauna Loa is really like a combination of the large volume at Kilauea with the height of Nyiragongo. The fact that the entire fissure line of 1950 was active at the same time even for a short time shows the magnitude of the event really…

      • Right Mauna Loa haves an insane gravity drain potential because of that. Its the most scary basaltic volcano at anytime. Kilauea is scary too knowing just how massive its magma system is .. Hawaiian volcanoes are capable of fast eruptions with many Holuhraun volumes at once

        • Actually, my pick for the effusive volcano with the scariest potential for a dangerous eruption is Hualalai (well in Hawaii, Grindavik and Goma are more risky). It has eruptions that are just as intense as those on Mauna Loa but are more violent, there are vents that erupted lava fountains over 1 km high on the south side of Hualalai, and lava flows seem to be nearly all channelized a’a beyond the vents showing most eruptions are of high intensity. The other thing is the slopes are extremely steep for a shield volcano, over 35 degrees in places, and there is not much of a coastal plain to slow the flows down.
          Kailua Kona is only 15km from the summit of Hualalai, which would mean an eruption in that direction would be catastrophic.
          The other thing is Hualalai seems to be a but like Hekla in that it is unpredictable, and very fast. It is however very seismic but the presence of xenoliths in the recent lava shows it erupted from the deep storage within a day or two. Hualalai actually even looks like Hekla…

          But practically, the risk is low. There is reasonable expectation of an eruption this century but there is much more chance of an eruption on the SWRZ of Mauna Loa. And Kilauea needs no mention, it is going to be highly active like it has been for the past 70 years for possibly centuries at this rate, in 100 years there might be none of the ERZ or summit not buried by lava since 1955. Puna is not a safe place long term.

          • These are the biggest of the spatter cones on Hawaii, only Pu’u O’o was even close but it formed in a different way, both of these formed in a single eruption.

            Neither apparently has got a Hawaiian name, which is interesting. B is the older, about 1200 years ago, and A is 900 years old. B began as a fissure and fed a massive a’a flow to the saddle with Mauna Loa that then turned sharply west t ostop a few km from the ocean. In the final stages the eruption intensified and the fountains for much higher, creating a wide tephra cone and thick blocky spatter flows. The eruption seems to have gone full plinian at the end, possibly with the aid of groundwater, and excavated the deep crater seen now.
            A was almost the opposite, it began with a fissure that had high fountains fro mthe start, and seems to have sustained this for a lot longer to build up a massive shield like cone and extensive though fairly short a’a in every direction. Later, the eruption slowed down, turning into a lava lake that overflowed and flooded wide areas in sheet pahoehoe and thin a’a.

            HVO had got a volcano watch on the 3rd and most recent eruption in this area, at Waha Pele in 1240. That eruption also began as a small fissure, blew up to form a maar crater – the only one in Hawaii – and then turned into a lava flood eruption after that, things really move fast here…

            https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/news/volcano-watch-hualalais-wahapele-eruption-cone-building-explosive-phreatic

            Hualalai, if not anything else, seems to be a lot more variable and unpredictable in its eruption style than either Mauna Loa or Kilauea are. Mauna Loa is fast but at least predictable, at Hualalai there coudl be a small fissure that opens and a week into the small effusive eruption it blows up and the nstarts erupting 10x as fast as before… Or it might begin at full strength in an effusive manner but on a scale that Kilauea or Mauna Loa just dont have the volatile content to do without exceptional circumstances. The Kaupulehu flows also have an explosion crater at the main vent, it might have been a lot more than just a fast effusive eruption. Perhaps this was the eruption reported by Keaweehu in 1780 after Cooks visit, otherwise attributed to Mauna Loa.

            One day I woudl liek to write an article on Hualalai, when I am not taken up by persona lthings and have the time. It has always interested me, there is really very little the modern volcano shares in common with Kilauea or Mauna Loa despite being in exactly the same setting. That and how it is a shield volcano that is steeper than a lot of stratovolcanoes…

      • Yes forgot Hualalai.. yes thats a scary volcano

        But I loves the tropical small town feel there, must be the most wonderful place to live for the mind

        • I prefer Waimea. Like a little slice of the Pacific Northwest hung a quick 15 minute drive from tropical beaches in the sunshine. I love to visit the beach, but give me a place to sleep in the cool, pine-scented air.

          Plus a quick drive to two of the most impressive volcanos on the planet but very little hazard in the place where your house is? Perfect.

          • Up at Volcano the climate and vegetation felt extremely similar to where I live, it is a bit warmer but then I was there just after summer. Eucalyptus trees are widely used as wind breaks between farms there, so outside the park it can feel like a little patch of Australia.

            My particular location also has a lot of rainforest in the mountains. When ai was at Kilauea Iki, it was almost identical, until you get to the viewpoint and see the barren crater floor and red hue in the fog behind it 🙂

            Really if you somehow ended up there without seeing anything before you would have no idea you are on a volcano at all.

        • There is 11 climate zones on the Big Island and this immense variation is another reason its my favorite place 🙂

          Big Island range from as hot and humid as Singapore at Hilo and as hot and opressive as Darwin in Kona to as cold and windy as Alaska coast at the summits. At the lowlands Big Island is supprisingly hot even in winter. Hawaii is in other words alot warmer than Canaries and Reunion thats for soure at sealevel
          But most of Big Island because of elevation have a Temperate climate

      • Right up at volcano they have a subtropical highland rainforest climate I do love the fern forests of Kilaueas caldera very much like New Zeeland and Tasmania I guess.

        11 climate zones on Big Island depending on elevation and If its the dry or wet side.

        Kailua Kona and Waikoloa at the lowland west coast of Big Island are the most opressive weather on the Island similar to Malaysia in temperatures and high humidity, Kona being a high pressure zone and relativly sunny all year around Probaly is even hotter some equatorial regions. I been there in winter many times and was unbearable

  14. Due to Elon Musk being evil and killing Twatter I have meandered over to Mastodon.
    So far I find it quite superior to Twatter, but a tad more confusing.
    The advantage is that the Farts on Mastodon are longer than the Twats on Twatter.
    It also feels like a midpoint between FB and Twatter…

    If you want my Farts I am Demiurg@techhub.social

    So, bye Bluebird, hello big wolley thing!

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