Vog in the air over Kona, Hawaii • Earth.com

Vog in the air over Kona, Hawaii

03-12-2018


Vog in the air over Kona, Hawaii Today’s Video of the Day comes from NASA Goddard and features a look at a recent Atmospheric Tomography (ATom) mission to study sulfate and nitrate particles in the atmosphere, also known as vog.

Atmospheric scientist Jack Dibb from the University of New Hampshire explains how some volcanoes emit low levels of vog on a consistent basis, which can oxidize and form small droplets of sulfuric acid.

When kona winds blow, they send vog towards the other islands, but in much less concentrations than immediately around the volcano vents. When we’ve been on Maui, Oahu, Lanai, Kauai and even on northern parts of the Big Island when the kona winds push vog to them, we’ve never felt any irritation.

During daylight hours the vog is brought ashore and upslope on the flanks of Maunaloa and Hualālai; at night, offshore breezes carry it back out to sea. When the wind blows from the south, Kona enjoys clean air, and Hilo suffers.

When we’ve been on Maui, Oahu, Lanai, Kauai and even on northern parts of the Big Island when the kona winds push vog to them, we’ve never felt any irritation. A slight haze is visible, but the gases are much less concentrated.

The Vog is carried by the wind to a variety of locations, and the direction of the wind is critical. Halemaʻumaʻu is very close to offices and commercial venues within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, and only a couple of miles away from Volcano Village. On a trade wind day, northeast winds blow Kīlauea’s gases toward the southwest areas of the island and across the ocean, but then thermally-generated winds. Also you can find on the west side of the Island of Hawaii, where the prevailing trade winds blow the vog to the southwest and southern winds then blow it north up the Kohala coast.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: NASA Goddard

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