NASA satellite reveals extensive Hawaii SO2 cloud

May 22nd, 2018 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

The eruption of Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii has been unleashing a huge cloud of sulfur dioxide (SO2), which has been showing up in NASA’s Suomi satellite imagery every day. Yesterday, May 21, the cloud is shown here in false color, based upon measurements from the OMPS sensor on that satellite.

NASA Suomi satellite false-color imagery of the sulfur dioxide cloud flowing downwind from the eruption of Kilauea volcano on the Big Island.

Carried by the northeasterly trade winds, the SO2 cloud can be discerned in true-color imagery extending about 1,300 miles downstream. The eruption site is indicated by the red dot, where the satellite picks up a hot anomaly in its infrared channels.

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