The nonstop flow of lava from Mauna Loa continues to creep closer to major infrastructure on Hawaii’s Big Island.
MAUNA LOA, Hawaii – New aerial video shared Sunday by the U.S. Geological Survey showed lava from an active fissure on Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano creeping closer to one of the main highways that connects the cities of Hilo and Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, began erupting on Nov. 27 after remaining quiet for nearly 40 years.
The last time Mauna Loa erupted was in 1984, and when the eruption began more than a week ago, it ended the longest streak on record between eruptions.
Footage captured by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows lava spurting from the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii moving closer to Daniel K. Inouye Highway on Sunday, Dec. 4.
(United States Geological Survey)
Image 2 of 16
People stand on the side of the road to photograph the eruption of the Mauna Loa volcano on December 04, 2022, near Hilo, Hawaii. For the first time in nearly 40 years, the Mauna Loa volcano, the largest active volcano in the world, has erupted. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Image 3 of 16
An aerial photo taken on Dec. 3, 2022, of Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone where eruptions continue. (Image: Hawaii Civil Air Patrol/USGS)
Image 4 of 16
A family from town of Kona are gathered and pray on the top of Mauna Kea mountain as they watch Mauna Loa erupts, the world's largest active volcano on December 3, 2022 in Big Island of Hawaii, United States. The volcano, located on Hawaii's Big Island, has not erupted since 1984 when it emitted lava for over three weeks. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Image 5 of 16
An image showing lava from an active fissure on Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano spewing blebs of liquid rock into the air.
Image 6 of 16
Lava is seen shooting into the air from an activ fissure on Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.
(Tropical Visions Video)
Image 7 of 16
HAWAII, UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 29: A view from Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, began to erupt overnight, prompting authorities to open shelters "as a precaution" on November 29, 2022, in Hawaii, United States.
(UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY)
Image 8 of 16
A view from Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, began to erupt overnight, prompting authorities to open shelters "as a precaution" on November 29, 2022, in Hawaii, United States.
Image 9 of 16
A view from Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, began to erupt overnight, prompting authorities to open shelters "as a precaution" on November 29, 2022 in Hawaii, United States.
(United States Geological Survey)
Image 10 of 16
An image showing lava from Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano shooting nearly 150 feet into the air.
Image 11 of 16
Lava from Kīlauea volcano lava lake is seen to the left of the photo, and a magnificent glow from Mauna Loa, upper right, sets the morning sky aglow.
(Joyce Ibasan/National Parks Service)
Image 12 of 16
Lava from Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano is seen flowing after an eruption on Monday, November 28, 2022.
(Hawaii Fire Department via Storyful)
Image 13 of 16
A photo view of the Mauna Loa eruption taken from Waikoloa at 6:15 a.m. HST on Nov. 28, 2022. (Image: USGS Volcanoes)
Image 14 of 16
Lava is seen flowing from Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano after it began erupting on Sunday night.
(USGS/Civil Air Patrol)
Image 15 of 16
Mauna Loa eruption as seen from Waikoloa at about 1:25 a.m. HST. The eruption is occurring from the summit of the volcano, though lava has overflowed the caldera. (Image: Ken Hon, Scientists in Charge of Hawaii Volcano Observatory)
Image 16 of 16
Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano erupted for the first time in 38 years on Sunday night.
As of Monday morning, the lava from Fissure 3 was about 2.16 miles from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway as flows advanced at an average rate of about 25 feet per hour.
However, the USGS noted there are many variables at play, and both the direction and timing of flow advances are expected to change over periods of hours to days. That makes it difficult to estimate when or if the lava flows will impact this main highway.
In fact, lava flow rates may be highly variable over the coming days and weeks because of the way the lava is situated on flat ground between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. According to the USGS, individual lobes may advance quickly and then stall, and additional breakouts could occur if lava channels get blocked upslope.
Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano continues to erupt but lava flows have slowed with sporadic advancements. FOX Weather Correspondent Max Gorden reports from the Big Island on how officials are preparing for potential impacts.
In addition to the lava, the eruption of Mauna Loa is sending volcanic gas plumes high into the air before being blown to the west at high altitudes, generating vog (volcanic air pollution) in areas downwind of the volcano. Sulfur dioxide emission rates also remain elevated, contributing to poor air quality.
Pele's Hair has also been falling in the Humu'ula Saddle area downwind of Mauna Loa and has even been reported as far away as Laupāhoehoe after being transported by high winds. Pele's Hair refers to thin strands of volcanic glass fibers formed from gas amid explosions within the turbulent cauldron.
According to the USGS, tremors are continuing beneath Fissure 3, which indicates magma is still being supplied to this active fissure on Mauna Loa. Activity is likely to continue as long as those tremors persist.
Scientists said they don't anticipate eruptive activity outside the Northeast Rift Zone.
Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano has now been erupting for a week. The lava flows continue to crawl closer to Hawaii Route 200, a major highway across the Big Island. FOX Weather correspondent Max Gorden reports the lava flow has slowed significantly.
Since 1843, Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times, averaging an eruption every five years. However, most eruptions before 1950 had an average frequency of 3.5 years. Since 1950, there have only been two eruptions – a summit eruption in 1975 and a rift eruption in 1984.