Last Updated: Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Volcanic smog prediction now possible using computer model


A computer model has been developed for the dispersion of volcanic smog (vog) which forms when volcanic sulfur dioxide gas interacts with water and coverts it to acid sulfate aerosol particles in the atmosphere.

A paper published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society used measurements of the amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitted by Kilauea volcano, Science Daily reported.

For Kilauea volcano measurement, scientists developed an ultraviolet spectrometer array to provide near real-time volcanic gas emission rate measurements.

Scientists from the UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) in collaboration with researchers at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory claims that the dispersion of the vog plume over time are sufficiently accurate to provide very useful guidance.

Researchers from the Department of Earth Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London have already developed a new method of predicting volcanic eruptions by collecting geological and historical data on previous eruptions of the volcano.

Journal Reference:
Steven Businger, Roy Huff, Andre Pattantyus, Keith Horton, A. Jeff Sutton, Tamar Elias, Tiziana Cherubini (2015). Observing and Forecasting Vog Dispersion from Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaii. DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00150.1