This information addresses common questions which people had about the emissions from eruptive fissures on Kīlauea Volcano's Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ). The LERZ is not erupting, currently (last updated 29 August 2018), but the information below may still be of interest.
The LERZ eruption is different from the 2014 Pāhoa lava flows. The vent for the 2014 lava flows was located close to the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent, many miles upslope from the current LERZ eruption. Gas from the lava escaped as the lava flowed downhill. The active lava flows had already lost much of their gas by the time they entered the Pāhoa community. In the current situation, the eruptive vents are located within or near residential areas. The lava being erupted contains very high amounts of gas, so the gas concentrations near the lava can be much higher than during the Pāhoa event. These concentrations may be similar to the amount that was released from the Halema'uma'u lava lake (prior to May 2018) in the restricted areas at the Kīlauea summit.
The air pollutants of most concern during the current volcanic activity are:
The VMAP plume colors are coded to the HDOH SO2 health advisory levels (PDF).
UH Manoa’s Vog Measurement and Prediction project (VMAP) provides forecast movies showing plume location and SO2 concentration for a 3-day period (Link).