The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 01:00

Hawaii's Big Island: Volcanic activity provokes another threat

Hawaii lava finally reaches the Pacific Hawaii lava finally reaches the Pacific.

Following the Kilauea's volcano eruption (in May 3rd) events, another threat has been added for the residents of Big Island in Hawaii.

Lava has recently reached the ocean producing a hazardous mix called laze (lava and haze). According to the United States Geological Survey, '' Laze is the product of molten lava that flows into the sea, reacting vigorously with the water to create a different type of gas plume that results in hazy and noxious conditions downwind of an ocean entry. It forms through a series of chemical reactions as hot lava boils the colder seawater to dryness. As a consequence, the air is filled with hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles. This hot, corrosive gas mixture caused two deaths immediately adjacent to the coastal entry point in 2000, when seawater washed across recent and active lava flows. Visitors should avoid this plume at the entry point and downwind, as even the wispy edges of it can cause skin and eye irritation and breathing difficulties''.

Moreover, lava has picked up speed and has become more dangerous. Already 40 structures have been destroyed while fissures continue to be persistent pouring great amount of it. Scott McLean CNN's reporter states: "Lava is pouring out like a fountain feeding a fast-moving stream that's now reached the ocean."

In addition, more eruptions of Kilauea volcano have triggered a 5,0 Mw and a 4,9 Mw earthquake among other minor events according to CNN meteorologist Haley Brink. Approximately 2.250 seismic events have occurred since the 3rd May eruption. Scientists say that the duration of the eruption can not be predicted yet. The area affected is considerable but it is still small compared with the Big Island (which is about 4.000 square miles). Officials reminded tourists that flights will not be affected even on the Big Island.


Read 363 times Last modified on Wednesday, 30 May 2018 13:47


Hawaii lava finally reaches the Pacific

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