Hawaii's Kilauea volcano eruption continues sending vog downwind

Residents on the western side of the Big Island will see areas of vog as Hawaii's Kilauea volcano eruption continues. Vog is a volcanic smog that can lead to air quality issues.

HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK – Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, continues to erupt in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Thursday after an active eruption was first detected.

Geologists with the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaii Volcano Observatory continue to monitor Kilauea's lava flows and behavior during its second eruption this year, which began on Wednesday. 

The volcano alert and aviation levels were upgraded to Red/Warning because of hazards from the active eruption, including volcanic gas emissions but later downgraded back to Orange/Watch when effusion rates declined. Still, the public is not at risk, and the eruption is occurring in a closed area of the National Park, so no additional closures have been announced.

Vog will blow downwind of the Kilauea's eruption

Residents on the Big Island will recognize one of the main effects of Kilauea's eruption, known as volcanic smog or "vog", which can reach miles downwind. When the volcano emits sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, it creates a visible haze called vog. According to the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network, Vog can create air quality concerns for people, animals and crops downwind.


Hawaii Volcano Observatory web cameras continue to show epic volcanic activity, including geysers of lava and several lava flows on the crater floor from active vents. 

Another camera view from the south rim of the crater captured a wind vortex or whirlwind above the eruption site. According to the USGS, volcano vortices can form due to extreme heating.

The USGS's Hawaii Volcano Observatory has more than a dozen cameras livestreaming activity from different areas of Kilauea. The cameras operate 24 hours a day, even overnight.

This marks the second eruption for Kilauea this year, it's last eruption began in January and ended in March. Since 1983, Kilauea has erupted more than 60 times during a very active cycle.