Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hazardous Widespread Vog ~ Halema’uma’u lava filled vent video

I awoke with a sore throat and headache. Vog. I looked outside to see some of the thickest vog ever. Not a breath of wind to move it yet.

The last 48 hours have seen volcanic sulfur dioxide concentrations at levels reaching dangerous condition for humans.
The graphs above are from yesterday morning and this morning copied from the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park sulfur dioxide conditions site. The date and time are imprinted on the graphs and animations. Current sulfur dioxide concentrations at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Visitors Center reached nearly 6 ppm – extremely hazardous.

When sulfur dioxide concentrations greater than 1 ppm (equal to 1,000 parts per billion) are measured at the Jaggar museum or at the Kilauea Visitor’s Center, the buildings are closed and employees and visitors are advised to relocate to areas with cleaner air.

High sulfur dioxide concentrations have been blamed for several fatalities, many amongst those having a history of asthma. The International Volcanic Health Hazard Network has compiled several studies indicating that 10-15 ppm concentrations of sulfur dioxide is a threshold of toxicity for prolonged exposure. (USGS)

Lava Viewing:
Last night out at the Hawaii County lava viewing area off the end of Highway 130 near Kalapana, visitors were still able to watch an ocean entry lava steam plume and even a few small littoral molten rock explosions. This despite continued very low lava pressures as recorded by deformation sensors and reflected on the graph below. There is a slight blip towards inflation as of around 4:00 AM this morning.

Check this out: December 28, 2009- Halema’uma’u Crater vent video clip showing molten lava lake broiling and draining back. (Quicktime=slow load 1st time)

Phone the lava hotline at 961-8093 in the mid-afternoon to find out if the viewing area will be open.

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