28 06 2008

Today was very voggy. No, I haven’t developed a spelling problem. When volcanoes emit SO2 gas (sulfur dioxide), things can get very stinky very quickly. The result is a wonderful substance known as vog. Usually the vog from Halema`uma`u is blown by the trade winds and it heads away from HVO, the National Park Visitor Center, and our house. However, there are times when the trade winds take a day off. The vog is dangerous to breathe in and can lead to evacuation of the park. Fortunately, today the vog returned to its visitor-friendly direction and no evacuation was necessary. Here’s a very voggy shot I took on my lunch break.

Volcano + Smog = Vog

In case you didn’t know or don’t want to take the time to click the link, the vent in the picture just opened explosively on March 19, 2008. It’s brand new! Here’s a link to the webcam that provides a live feed from the vent: Halema`uma`u Live! Even if it’s dark outside, go check it out. At night you can see the glow from inside even when it’s pitch black everywhere else.

Yesterday and today have consisted mainly of paperwork and training. I passed my IT security training as well as my helicopter flight training. Most of today was spent reading scientific papers about Mauna Loa’s history and evolution, and of course I’m still trying to remember the names of the (seemingly) 800 people I’ve met.

My boss told me about the projects I’ll be working on, and next week is going to be incredible. On Monday we’re driving up to the summit of Mauna Loa to collect samples from explosion fields. The oldest flow we will be working on is from 1859. I’ll talk more about the samples later. Tuesday will be time to process some of the samples and get a flight suit for me in anticipation of Wednesday. That’s when the astoundingly exciting happens: I get to go on a special mission to the summit of Mauna Loa…in a helicopter! We’ll be covering much more ground (and air) that way. It’s also pretty neat that they actually call it a “mission.”

This weekend will be relaxing and preparing for next week’s insanity. If I go anywhere with relevant geology, I’ll make sure to write about it.




4 responses

28 06 2008

I went to the link to look at the vent, and all i saw were stars. But they were wonderful stars. I think its awesome you are posting about your time on Haiwaii. I love your photos, and i’m sure you will have awesome ones when you take your mission by helicopter.

28 06 2008

I really like reading each update. Its like being right there in the action. I sound stupid, I need to go back to sleep 🙂

28 06 2008

The vent might have been obscured by the vog if it changed direction during the night. Sorry! Give it a shot during the day, or perhaps another night.

I’m glad you guys both like the updates. 🙂 There will be more!

29 06 2008

Hey, the vog looks familiar (though the pic on here is much clearer and bigger than the cam phone pic, but still awesome to get little treats via cell phone from you!). This is going to be a very educational trip all around, for you and all of us readers who aren’t geologists but care about your passion. Haha, can’t help but think of you humming the mission impossible theme song when your in the helicopter. I know you’re having a blast! 🙂

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