What Makes Hawaii's Erupting Volcanoes Special

Lava flows from the Mauna Loa volcano on December 4, 2022 near Hilo, Hawaii. Mauna Loa is the largest active volcano in the world. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Just after Thanksgiving, for the first time in almost 40 years, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano erupted. It’s one of several ongoing eruptions – including Kilauea, also on Hawaii, and Indonesia’s Mount Semeru. At just over half the size of the big island of Hawaii, Mauna Loa is the world’s biggest active volcano.

Today, volcanologist Alison Graettinger talks to Scientist in Residence Regina G. Barber about what makes Mauna Loa’s eruption different than Indonesia’s and others around the Pacific, and what it reveals about planet Earth.

Watch the U.S. Geological Survey’s live video of the eruption here.

This episode was edited and fact-checked by Gisele Grayson. It was produced by Rebecca Ramirez. Josh Newell was the audio engineer.

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