In planetary geology, lava flows on the Moon and Mars are commonly treated as relatively simple systems. Mauna Loa as seen from the air. I grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii. It’s been 30 years since Mauna Loa — the largest active volcano in the world — last erupted sending within 4.5 miles of Hilo. Mauna Loa's July 1975 eruption was forewarned by more than a year of seismic unrest, with the HVO issuing warnings to the general public from late 1974; the 1984 eruption was similarly preceded by as much as three years of unusually high seismic activity, with volcanologists predicting an eruption within two years in 1983. Within 2 to 3 hours, 80% of the crater was covered by lava and there was concern that lava might flow from the crater toward MLO. Hualālai is visible in the background. It was a 6.0 and the damage costed about 2.300,000,000 dollars. The 1984 eruption of Mauna Loa … Eruptions from the Mauna Loa volcano created its gentle slopes.Scientists use the The Richter scale for measuring eruptions and the most recent eruption in 1984. Mauna Loa's most recent eruption occurred from March 24, 1984, to April 15, 1984. No recent eruptions of the volcano have caused fatalities, but eruptions in 1926 and 1950 destroyed villages, and the city of Hilo is partly built on lava flows from the late nineteenth century. Eruptions of Mauna Loa most often will begin in the summit caldera and then later migrate to a rift zone. It is believed that Mauna Loa has been erupting for 700,000 years or more, emerging from under the sea approximately 400,000 years ago. The current eruption of Kilauea is bringing back old memories for me. Some of the complexities of actual lava flows are illustrated using the main flow system of the 1984 Mauna Loa eruption. A series of 33 radial vents also extend to the northwest. This called attention to the increased probability of a Mauna Loa eruption within the next two years' (Decker and others, 1983), but see SEAN 08:05 in which the forecast was more specific: 'a significantly increased probability of eruption of Mauna Loa during 1983 or 1984… The 1984 eruption on the 13,680-foot volcano’s southeast flank produced a river of lava that came within four miles of the upper slopes of Hilo before stopping. The outline, brief narrative, and results given are based on a number of sources. Volcanic Air Pollution. In the first half of the 20th century Mauna Loa's eruptions destroyed villages and its most recent eruption occurred in 1984, threatening Hilo, a city built on lava flows dating to the 1800s. The implications of the results to planetary geology are clear. Although Mauna Loa has been quiet since 1984, its sister volcano, Kilauea, continues to spew lava on an ongoing basis, producing what is known as "vog," or volcano smog. 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