Volcano Watch: We’re giving thanks for clean air, but what’s that new smell?

U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY photo Sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide gases, themselves, are not visible, but dramatic plumes are sometimes visible at Kilauea Volcano’s summit (shown here) and Pu‘u ‘O‘o. These plumes are a result of atmospheric conditions rather than increased volcanic activity, and frequently occur when warm volcanic gases condense as they are released into cooler air temperatures during early mornings or evenings.

In this season of giving thanks, Island of Hawaii residents and visitors can be thankful for the return of good air quality, generally free of volcanic air pollution.