Kīlauea eruption prompts renewed vog measurement and prediction efforts from UH Manoa

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The recent eruption at the Kīlauea Volcano has prompted renewed efforts by the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Vog Measurement and Prediction Project (VMAP) to make real-time forecasts of vog dispersion available to the public online.

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VMAP creates forecasts to predict the amount of vog that will be emitted from the volcano as well as provide a trajectory for where the vog is headed. To view a real-time forecast, click here.

Vog is created when sulfur dioxide reacts with oxygen, sunlight, moisture and other gasses and particles in the air, according to the VMAP team. The end result is a visible aerosol that can produce significant health issues and cause visibility problems for general aviation.

“Sulfur dioxide is expected to be the main problem in areas near the vent, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Pāhala, Na‘alehu, Hawaiian Ocean View Estates; and sulfate aerosol is expected to be the main problem at locations far from the vent, Kona and farther north and west. The islands of Maui, Lāna‘i, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu and Kauaʻi will be impacted when and if the large-scale surface winds blow from the southeast.” 

UH Manoa Department of Atmospheric Sciences Professor Steven Businger, VMAP co-lead

Data from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory suggests up to 30,000 tons of sulfur dioxide are being produced each day with this eruption, significantly more than the 2,000 daily tons that were released before the Lower East Rift Zone eruption in 2018.

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