Remarkable 1940’s Footage of Mauna Loa Erupting on the Big Island

Remarkable 1940’s silent film of Mauna Loa Erupting. Probably the first color film ever made of a volcanic eruption.


Mauna Loa’s summit Mokuaweoweo Crater eruption filmed probably in 1940 by Harold T. Stearns, a USGS Hydrologist-Volcanologist. The lava fountains are hundreds of feet high, the erupting fissure inside the crater is about two thousand feet long. The crater floor is at an elevation of 13,100′ ASL. Stearns is flying in an open cockpit at an altitude of around 15,000′ ASL. Note patches of snow on the rim of the crater! At 1 min, 50 secs into the video, a plane will enter the lower right corner of the frame. View the entire 66 minute SILENT FILM compilation that was hand edited by Stearns himself, but you have to use Windows Media Player, on the file menu select “open URL” and past in: mms:// This file contains all of this footage plus all of Stearn’s other film covering about 15 years in Hawaii between the late 1920’s and the early 1940’s.

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