Volcano Watch: New assessment of Kilauea’s extreme SO2 emission rates in 2018

USGS photo by P. Nadeau A thick, dense plume of SO2 and other volcanic gases billows from the lava fountains at fissure 8 on June 19, 2018. SO2 emission rates during the 2018 eruption of Kilauea were so high that they required a new data analysis technique.

If you were around the Island of Hawaii — or even other Hawaiian Islands, or Guam — between May and August of 2018, you likely know that Kilauea’s lower East Rift Zone eruption released a lot of sulfur dioxide (SO2). But how much is a lot?