Mount Kilauea

Satellite View Of Kilauea Volcano

In yet another post about volcano’s, I’d like to touch on a few topics that surround not only the volcano itself, but also, as normal, the the climate “scientist” that never seem to have an answer, other than, we need billions or trillions of tax dollars or the world is going to end.

If we look at history – as we do a lot here at Very Good Coffee – it is easy to see that it is not the average every day consumer driving their mini 70 mpg (112km – 4 liters) SUV. That title belongs to the extravagant, arrogant ultra wealthy.

But. According to the climate scientist, it is you, the average consumer that is to blame, not those that live to 20,000 sq (1,858 sm) mansions, consuming unavailable amounts of electricity, natural gas and of course, being whisk away weekly in their private planes to consume 10’s of thousands of gallons of jet fuel to preach to you that you are the problem. I’ve wrote about this a few times now There’s Big Bucks In Smog.

For this writing, as with the last one, the governments around the world are preaching that it is the modest to poor folks that are the problem. In a post by the US gov, they state that humans (cars) produce more pollution than volcano’s Volcano’s VS Humans conveniently leaving out the facts that might disrupt their tax/money laundering schemes.

Moving right along…

The Kīlauea Volcano (Mount Kilauea) is located on the southern part of Hawaii’s big island (19.4069° N, 155.2834° W). This active volcano has been continuously erupting since 1983 (40 years).

Volcanic gas emissions are composed mainly of water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas, with trace amounts of several other gaseous compounds, including hydrogen sulfide (H2S), hydrogen fluoride (HF), and carbon monoxide (CO).

Kīlauea Volcano is among the most active and best studied volcanoes, long providing a natural laboratory for learning how hot spot volcanoes work. A broad understanding of Kīlauea has emerged over many years of study [Tilling and Dvorak, 1993]. Located on the southeastern flank of Mauna Loa Volcano, Kīlauea’s southern flank is detached from the stable shield to the north by the east and southwest rift zones and the intervening Koa‘e fault system (Figure 1). The most active eruption sites are within the summit caldera region and along the rift zones.

Kilauea Lava Flow

However, all eruptions and intrusions at Kīlauea, whether within the caldera or along the rift zones, appear to involve magma that first passes through a summit magma reservoir complex between about 1–2 km and 7 km beneath the summit. The primary magma supplied to the summit reservoir arrives at a relatively steady rate from mantle sources, but reservoir storage is transitory, as magma is discharged to the surface or into the rift zones.

Nearly continuous eruptions in the summit caldera typified the activity for over a hundred years before 1924. Since then, most of the magma is intruded into the rift zones, following a period of summit reservoir storage, and most of the eruptions take place at sites on the east rift zone (ERZ).

Kīlauea has previously emitted between 500 and 10,000 metric tons (1 metric ton is equal to 1.102 tons) of sulfur dioxide gas (SO2) each day (t/d) during periods of continuous eruption, like that between 1983 and early 2018.

Kilauea Lava Fissure

Regular emission rate measurements began at Kīlauea in 1979, when a few hundred tons of SO2 were released each day from the summit area. The onset of the East Rift Zone (ERZ) eruption at Pu‘u‘ō‘ō in 1983 was accompanied by a large increase in SO2 release: emissions averaged about 1500-2000 t/d during the first decades of the ERZ activity.

Another large increase in emissions occurred in 2008 when the summit lava lake eruption began. While Pu‘u‘ō‘ō was the main source of gas release from 1979–2007, from 2008 to early 2018, Kīlauea Volcano’s summit vent in Halema‘uma‘u Crater was the dominant gas source.

Prior to 2018, Kīlauea emitted more than five times as much SO2 as the top emitting power plant in the US. During Kīlauea’s eruption in 2018, emission rates at the Kīlauea summit increased briefly during the explosive activity in May, but then decreased steadily.

In the lower East Rift Zone, measured emission rates were the highest measured at Kīlauea, over 100,000 t/d for much of the three months of the 2018 fissure eruption. Following the end of the 2018 eruption, emission rates in the lower East Rift Zone, at Pu‘u‘ō‘ō, and at the summit decreased drastically. By the end of 2018, Kīlauea was emitting only about 50 t/d of SO2. SO2 emissions remained below 50 t/d until a summit eruption began on December 20, 2020.

At the onset of the new eruption in December 2020, Kīlauea summit emission rates were 30,000–40,000 t/d. SO2 emissions progressively dropped to around 2,500 t/d on January 11, 2021, telling us that the eruption rate decreased. SO2 emissions have recently varied between 300-1200 t/d.

You be the judge.