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2008 Marked by Significant Changes on Kīlauea

Last year was marked by a number of changes on Kīlauea Volcano-both at its summit and along its east rift. March 2008 was a particularly noteworthy month with summit sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions reaching record high levels; a new vent opening in Halema`uma`u Crater; a small explosive eruption at Kīlauea's summit, the first since 1924; and lava flowing into the sea for the first time in over eight months. Events leading up to these changes date back to at least mid-2007, when an intrusion on Father's Day (June 17) disrupted the supply of magma to Pu`u `Ō `ō, the long-lived vent on Kīlauea's east rift.

Recent changes and events leading to Kīlauea's current eruptive activity are summarized in:

2007-2009 Kīlauea Eruption Timeline

Halema`uma`u from the Jaggar Museum overlook on March 27, 2008.
Lava streams into the ocean near Kalapana on March 26, 2008.
Left. Halema`uma`u from the Jaggar Museum overlook on March 27, 2008. Right. Lava streams into the ocean near Kalapana on March 26, 2008.


Sulfur Dioxide, Vog, and Volcanic Ash Impact
Hawai`i Island Air Quality

On March 12, 2008, a new gas vent opened in Halema`uma`u Crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. Since then, sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions and the associated volcanic air pollution (vog) have impacted air quality on Hawai`i Island and, at times, throughout the entire state. Volcanic ash in the Halema`uma`u gas plume also resulted in the closure of air space above the crater.

In response to numerous inquiries about SO2, vog, and air quality on Hawai`i Island, a list of the most common questions, with answers and links to additional information, are compiled in:

Frequently Asked Questions
Air Quality in Hawai`i


 
Archive of previous feature stories

  Halema`uma`u plume captures the sun in the early morning, creating a picturesque sight.
Photograph by M. Poland
November 14, 2008

Hanging with the sun and the moon

Top: Halema`uma`u plume captures the sun in the early morning, creating a picturesque sight.

Bottom: With stagnant winds present, Halema`uma`u plume stands straight up, showing off the distant, but bright, full moon.

Archive of Featured Photographs

  With stagnant winds present, Halema`uma`u plume stands straight up, showing off the distant, but bright, full moon.
Photograph by M. Poland
November 13, 2008

 

More Volcano Information from HVO and Beyond

Earthquake seismogramReport a felt earthquake to HVO using this form.
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Volcano WatchCurrent issue of Volcano Watch essay, written weekly by USGS scientists.
National Park ServiceHawai`i Volcanoes National Park, home to HVO. Find visitor information and resources here. Graphic: Kids DoorVolcanoes for kids, from the Volcano World website.
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Last modification: 20 August 2008 (pnf)