Friday, April 11, 2008

Renewed Explosive Volcanism at Kilauea

A second explosive eruption took place at Halema`uma`u crater atop the Kilauea volcano on Wednesday morning. The eruption, along with winds out of the south, lowered air quality across the more populated areas of the Big Island, including Hilo. This was due to the high amounts of sulfur dioxide within the new vent's gas plume. Sulfur dioxide, a common volcanic gas on Io and Earth, can causes irritation to a person's respiratory system.

Webcam images of the new vent along the wall of Halema`uma`u crater reveal a large, white plume and glowing red lava being spat out of the vent. The new explosion has expanded this vent by 5-10 meters. Debris from the explosion, smaller than the one that took place last month, could be found on the rim of the crater, 70 meters above the vent.

Air quality in Hilo is expected to improve as returning trade winds will blow the sulfur-rich plume to the southwest, away from major population centers.

Link: Halema`uma`u vent explodes a second time []

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