BIG CHANGES WITH MAUNA LOA ERUPTION–THE ERUPTION MAY BE NEAR AN END—BUT THE VOLCANO IS STILL BEING CLOSELY MONITORED BY SCIENTISTS THERE. THE FLOW OF LAVA OUT OF FISSURE 3 HAS CEASED, SULFUR DIOXIDE EMISSIONS ARE DOWN AND TREMORS BELOW THE VENTS ARE NO LONGER DETECTABLE, INDICATING SUB-SURFACE LAVA MOVEMENT MAY HAVE CEASED, AT LEAST–THAT’S BEEN THE WORD THROUGH SUNDAY–USGS HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY SCIENTISTS REPORTED SUNDAY LAVA FOUNTAINS HAVE CEASED AND WHAT LAVA IS VISIBLE IS LIMITED AND CAN BE SEEN GLOWING IN A FEW SPOTS THE DARKNESS OF NIGHT….

      We await the Monday update from USGS HVO. Scientists there noted, in their Sunday morning post: “The inactive main flow front has stagnated about 1.7 mi from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road) when last measured Saturday morning, December 10.  The inactive main flow front still glows at a few spots at night and may inch northward very slowly as it continues to settle.” That’s awesome news. Had the lava made it to the Inouye Highway is would have blocked an incredibly important commute route used by Big Island residents who use the route to commute to work. That could have doubled commute times.  

     USGS scientists are cautious in reporting on the decrease in activity at Mauna Loa–noting there have been measurements of an increase in the inflation of Mauna Loa’s surface. Of that, the HVO report Sunday says, “The significance of the continuing inflation while the flow field is inactive is not yet clear; it is common for eruptions to wax and wane or pause completely, but none of the eight recorded eruptions from Mauna Loa’s Northeast Rift Zone returned to high eruption rates after those rates decreased significantly. Nevertheless, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to closely monitor the current activity.”  

Here’s an Associated Press (AP) Sunday report on the decrease in activity–along with a series of spectacular photos of the eruption while in progress last week.

HERE’S SUNDAY MORNING’S REPORT OUT THE U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO).

Here are USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory photos from Sunday showing the greatly subdued production of lava from Mauna Loa.

I’m heading out to the Big Island this weekend and am anxious to see what’s happening for myself. I plan a helicopter flight over Mauna Loa. I’ll share photos/video with you of what I find and some other views from the Big Island.

This can be a time of year for active waves produced by winter season storms which sweep the North Pacific. I’m interested to see if they show up during my trip and will share those with you as well.

HERE’S THE MONDAY MORNING USGS HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY REPORT ON THE MAUNA LOA ERUPTION.