Volcano Watch: Eruption pause provides opportunity to probe volcanic pollution

The end of Kilauea’s 2018 eruption this past September was accompanied by an enormous decrease in the amount of sulfur dioxide gas (SO2) emitted from the volcano. This led to beautifully clear skies gracing the Island of Hawaii, particularly noticeable on the west side, where the volcanic pollution known as vog chronically collected in past years.

How do lava flows cool and how long does it take?

Since the end of the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption on Kilauea Volcano, questions surfaced concerning how long it will take for the new lava flows to solidify. This is a difficult question to answer because the initial eruptive temperatures — along with many different factors — can influence the rate of cooling.