Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 108, Issue 1, pp 121–144 | Cite as

Dispersion Modelling of the Kilauea Plume

  • Annette T. Hollingshead
  • Steven Businger
  • Roland Draxler
  • John Porter
  • Duane Stevens


Emissions from the Kilauea volcano pose significant environmental and health risksto the Hawaiian community. This paper describes progress toward simulating theconcentration and dispersion of plumes of volcanic aerosol after they emanate from thePu'u O'o vent of the Kilauea volcano.

In order to produce an accurate regional forecast of the concentration and dispersionof volcanic aerosol, the Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory(HY-SPLIT) model was used. Wind fields and thermodynamic data from the non-hydrostatic Mesoscale Spectral Model (MSM) were employed as input for theHY-SPLIT model. A combination of satellite remote sensing, aircraft, and ground-based observations collected during a field experiment was used to validate the model simulation of aerosol distribution.

The HY-SPLIT model shows skill in reproducing the plume shape, orientation, and concentration gradients as deduced from satellite images of aerosol optical depth.Comparison of the modelled and observed values suggests that the model was able to produce reasonable plume concentrations and spatial gradients downwind of the source. Model concentrations were generally less than those observed on the leeward side of the Island of Hawaii. This deficiency may be explained by a lack of (i) background concentrations, (ii) local sources of pollution and/or (iii) sea-breeze circulation in the prognostic input wind field. These results represent early progress toward the goal of future operational application of the HY-SPLIT model to predict volcanic aerosol concentrations in Hawaii. This may help mitigate their negative impacts of plumes respiratory health, agriculture, and general aviation.

HY-SPLIT Kilauea volcano Regional spectral model Sulfate aerosol 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Charlson, R. J., Langner, J., Rodhe, H., Leovy, C. B., and Warren, S. G.: 1991, 'Perturbation of the Northern Hemispheric Radiative Balance by Backscattering from Anthropogenic Sulfate Aerosols', Tellus 43AB, 152-163.Google Scholar
  2. Clarke, A. D. and Porter, J.: 1991, 'Volcanic Haze: Physiochemistry and Transport', in Vog and Laze Seminar, Hilo, HI, Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (unpag.).Google Scholar
  3. Draxler, R. R. and Hess, G. D.: 1997, Description of the HY-SPLIT_4 Modelling System, NOAA Tech. Memo. ERL-ARL224, December, 24 pp. (NTIS, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161.)Google Scholar
  4. Draxler, R. R. and Hess, G. D.: 1998, 'An Overview of the HY-SPLIT_4 Modelling System forTrajectories, Dispersion and Deposition', Aust. Meteorol. Mag. 47, 295-308.Google Scholar
  5. Draxler, R. R., McQueen, J. T., and Stunder, B. J. B.: 1994, 'An Evaluation of Air Pollutant Exposures Due to the 1991 Kuwait Oil Fires Using a Lagrangian Model', Atmos. Environ. 28, 2197-2210.Google Scholar
  6. Elias, T.: 1992, 'The Effect of Volcanic Emissions on Ambient Air Quality in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park', Abstracts, Hilo, HI, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (unpag.).Google Scholar
  7. Elias, T., Sutton, A. J., Stokes, J. B., and Casadevall, T. J.: 1998, Sulfur Dioxide Emission Rates of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, 1979-1997, USGS open-file report 98-462.Google Scholar
  8. Feng, J. and Chen, Y.-L.: 1998, 'Evolution of Katabatic Flow on the Island of Hawaii on 10 August 1990', Mon. Wea. Rev. 126, 2185-2199.Google Scholar
  9. Gerlach, T. M.: 1993, 'Oxygen Buffering of Kilauea Volcanic Gases and the Oxygen Fugacity of Kilauea Basalt', Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 57, 796-814.Google Scholar
  10. Gerlach, T. M. and Casadevall, T. J.: 1986, 'Evaluation of Gas Data from High-Temperature Fumaroles at Mount St. Helens, 1980-1982', J. Volc. Geotherm. Res. 28, 107-140.Google Scholar
  11. Giambelluca, T. W., Nullet, D., and Schroeder, T. A.: 1986, 'Average Annual and Monthly Rainfall', Rainfall Atlas of Hawaii, State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources.Google Scholar
  12. Gordon, H. R.: 1997, 'Atmospheric Correction of Ocean Color Imagery in the Earth Observing System Era', J. Geophys. Res. 102D, 17081-17106.Google Scholar
  13. Grindinger, C. M.: 1992, Temporal Variability of the Trade Wind Inversion: Measured with a Boundary Layer Vertical Profiler, Master's Thesis, University of Hawaii. (Available from Department of Meteorology, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822.)Google Scholar
  14. Harris, A. J. and Thornber, C. R.: 1999, 'Complex Effusive Events at Kilauea as Documented by the GOES Satellite and Remote video Cameras', Bull. Volcan. 61, 382-395.Google Scholar
  15. Hoppel, W. A., Fitzgerald, J. W., Frick, G. M., and Larson, R. E.: 1987, Preliminary Investigation of the Role that DMS and Cloud Cycles Play in the Formation of the Aerosol Size Distribution, NRL Report 9032.Google Scholar
  16. Hurley, P. J.: 1994, 'PARTPUFF-A Lagrangian Particle-Puff Approach for Plume Dispersion Modelling Applications', J. Appl. Meteorol. 33, 285-294.Google Scholar
  17. Juang, H.-M. H.: 1992, 'A Spectral Fully Compressible Nonhydrostatic Mesoscale Model in Hydrostatic Sigma Coordinates: Formulation and Preliminary Results', Meteorol. Atmos. Phys. 50, 75-88.Google Scholar
  18. Juang, H.-M. H.: 2000, 'The NCEP Mesoscale Spectral Model: A Revised Version of the Nonhydrostatic Regional Spectral Model', Mon. Wea. Rev. 128, 2329-2362.Google Scholar
  19. Juang, H.-M. H. and Kanamitsu, M.: 1994, 'The NMC Nested Regional Spectral Model', Mon. Wea. Rev. 122, 3-26.Google Scholar
  20. Juang, H.-M. H., Hong, S.-Y., and Kanamitsu, M.: 1997, 'The NCEP Regional Spectral Model: An Update', Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. 78, 2125-2143.Google Scholar
  21. Kidder, S. Q. and Vonder Haar, T. H.: 1995, 'Radiative Transfer', Satellite Meteorology: An Introduction, Academic Press, San Diego, pp. P47-86.Google Scholar
  22. Kleinman, M.: 1995, 'Health Effects of Inhaled Particles and Acid Sulfate Aerosols', in Vog Symposium, Honolulu, HI, Department of Health (unpag.).Google Scholar
  23. Mannino, D. M., Ruben, S. M., and Holschuh, F. C.: 1995, 'Weekly Variability of Emergency Room Visits for Asthma in Hilo, Hawaii, 1981-1991', in Vog Symposium, Honolulu, HI, Department of Health (unpag.).Google Scholar
  24. Morrow, J. W.: 1991, 'The Atmospheric Fate of Sulfur Gases from Kilauea Volcano', in Vog and Laze Seminar, Hilo, HI, Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (unpag.).Google Scholar
  25. Morys, M. F., Mims III, F. M., and Anderson, S. E.: 1996, 'Design, Calibration and Performance of MICROTOPS II Hand-Held Ozonometer', in 12th International Symposium on Photobiology, Vienna, Austria, International Congress on Photobiology. (Available online at Scholar
  26. Nash, A. J.: 1992, Diurnal Variation in Wind Direction and Speeds on Hawaii Island, in B. Bays (ed.), SOEST Report 1991-1992, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, 2525 Correa Road, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, 96822.Google Scholar
  27. Palmer, K. F. and Williams, D.: 1975, 'Optical Constants of Sulfuric Acid: Application to the Clouds of Venus?', Appl. Opt. 14, 208-219.Google Scholar
  28. Porter, J. N. and Clarke, A. D.: 1997, 'Aerosol Size Distribution Models Based on in situ Measurements', J. Geophys. Res. 102(D5), 6035-6045.Google Scholar
  29. Porter, J. N., Clarke, A., and Lienert, B.: 2000: 'Aircraft/Surface Derived Aerosol Optical Properties near Hawaii for Satellite Validation', in Proceedings of the SPIE Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere, Environment and Space, Sendai, Japan, ISBN 0-7803-6362-0, 8 pp.Google Scholar
  30. Porter, J. N., Miller, M., Pietras, C., and Motell, C.: 2001, 'Ship-Based Sunphotometer Measurements Using Microtops Sun Photometers', J. Atmos. Oceanic Tech. 18, 765-774.Google Scholar
  31. Pruppacher, H. R. and Klett, J. D.: 1978, Microphysics of Clouds and Precipitation, D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Norwell, MS, 714 pp.Google Scholar
  32. Realmuto, V. J., Sutton, A. J., and Elias, T.: 1997, 'Multispectral Thermal InfraredMapping of Sulfur Dioxide Plumes: A Case Study from the East Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii', J. Geophys. Res. 102(B7), 15,057-15,072.Google Scholar
  33. Ruben, S. M., Mannini, D. M., Holschuh, F. C., Holshuh, T. C., Wilson, M. D., and Holschuh, T.: 1995, 'Emergency Room Visits for Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease on the Island of Hawaii, 1981-1991', in Vog Symposium, Honolulu, HI, Department of Health(unpag.).Google Scholar
  34. State of Hawaii, Department of Health, Env. Mgmt. Div. Safe Drinking Water Branch, 1989: Extended Abstract, in 4th International Conference on Water Cistern Systems, Makati Metro, Philippines.Google Scholar
  35. Sutton, J. and Elias, T.: 1993, 'Volcanic Gases Create Air Pollution on the Island of Hawaii', Earthquakes Volcanoes 24(4), 178-196.Google Scholar
  36. Sutton, J. and Elias, T.: 1996, 'Volcanic Emissions from Kilauea and their Effect on Air Quality', Hawaii Med. J. 55(3), 46 (Abstract).Google Scholar
  37. Sutton, J. and Elias, T.: 1997, 'Volcanic Gases, Vog and Laze: What They Are, Where They Come From, and What They Do?', in Abstracts, Hilo, HI, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes, p.1.Google Scholar
  38. Symonds, R. B., Rose, W. I., Bluth, G. J. S., and Gerlach, T. M.: 1994, 'Volcanic-Gas Studies: Methods, Results and Applications', Rev. Mineral. 30, 1-60.Google Scholar
  39. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory: cited 2000, 'Archive of Previous Eruption Updates' (availableon-line from Scholar
  40. Worth, R. M.: 1995, 'Respiratory Impacts Associated with Chronic VOG Exposure on the Island of Hawaii', in Vog Symposium, Honolulu, HI, Department of Health (unpag.).Google Scholar
  41. Zhang, L., Gong, S., Padro, J., and Barrie, L.: 2001, 'A Size-Segregated Particle Dry Deposition Scheme for an Atmospheric Aerosol Module', Atmos. Env. 35, 549-560.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annette T. Hollingshead
    • 1
  • Steven Businger
    • 2
  • Roland Draxler
    • 3
  • John Porter
    • 1
  • Duane Stevens
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HawaiiHonoluluU.S.A
  2. 2.Department of MeteorologyHonoluluU.S.A
  3. 3.NOAA Air Resources LaboratorySilver SpringsU.S.A

Personalised recommendations