Hawaii volcano eruption: Is Kilauea the most powerful volcano? | World | News



Scientists remain unable to predict the end of Kilauea’s eruption, as lava continues to spew from fissures and earthquakes rock the summit.

The United States Geological Survey have placed GPS devices around the summit in order to track the ongoing subsidence and location of lava within the volcano.

Earthquakes continue as lava moves inside the volcano, applying pressure to the tectonic plates beneath.

As lava spews from fissure 8, it feeds a channel which flows north and then eastward toward Kapoho Bay and Vacationland.

This channel is then entering the ocean creating huge plumes of volcanic haze, known as laze.

Laze is a toxic mixture of hydrochloric acid mist, steam and fine glass particles which if inhaled can cause lung damage as well as eye, nose and throat irritation.

Hawaii Civil Defense has warned residents of the increasing amounts of volcanic emissions being produced: “Fissure 8 continues to produce a large channelized flow that is entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay and producing a large laze plume.

“Gas emissions from the fissure eruption and at the ocean entry continue to be very high.”

Is Kilauea the most powerful volcano on Big Island?

Kilauea is the youngest volcano of the five which make up Big Island, and is certainly one of the most active.

According to geologist Thomas Wright, the possibility of Kilauea continuing to erupt is one which is likely: “I think it’s most likely that there will be a long-term extension of activity,” he said to a talk at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Not only is Kilauea the most powerful volcano on Big Island, but Mr Wright believes it to be one of the most hazardous on earth: “Kilauea is potentially, in my view, one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.” he told the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences’ 50th anniversary symposium.

This isn’t hard to picture, as officials have reported that more than 700 homes have been destroyed due to lava flows.

Air quality continues to be closely monitored, as gases rising both from the ocean entry and fissures.

Is Kilauea linked to Mauna Loa?

Mauna Loa is the largest active volcano on earth, and its huge size means it makes up half of the whole of Big Island.

The massive size of Mauna Loa makes Kilauea look minuscule by comparison, and some scientist believe the volcanoes “talk” to one another.

The mammoth volcano last erupted in 1984, and the USGS have said that there is currently no risk of Mauna Loa erupting.

However, Mr Wright has said that it may be uncertain as to whether Mauna Loa will react as a result of Kilauea’s continuing eruption.

He said: “There have been ongoing explosions and earthquakes, and historically, activity at Kilauea has been linked to activity at Mauna Loa, so we really don’t know what the future is.”


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