Tulane volcano expert available to comment on eruption of Mauna Loa

Geologist Cynthia Ebinger, PhD, the Marshall-Heape Chair in Geology at the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering, says scientists have been on high alert for months as earthquake activity has increased beneath Mauna Loa.

“Lessons learned from decades of monitoring and geological mapping of historic erptions from Mauna Loa, Earth’s largest volcano, are being swiftly utilized to mitigate damage and loss from fast-moving and long-traveled lava flows from Mauna Loa. The last eruption occurred in 1984 when lava flows approached, but did not reach Hilo.

She added, “At present the eruption of lava is restricted to the summit caldera (Moku’aweoweo), which contains the flows. The USGS (United States Geological Survey) continues to monitor the volcano to anticipate a possible flank eruption that could pose risk to communities downslope.”

In addition to her professorship at Tulane, Ebinger is chair of the College of Fellows of the American Geophysical Union. She is also a Jefferson Science Fellow at the Bureau of African Affairs at the U.S. State Department. She can be reached at [email protected] or at [email protected].