a. If you haven’t, you should! The ‘smoke’ you see billowing out of a volcano is actually a mix of mostly water vapor, carbon dioxide, and sulfur gases (and ash, during an eruption and depending on the volcano). In Hawaii, EPS concentrators got up close and personal with some of the steam and sulfur gases emanating from Kilauea at Ha’akulamanu, also known as Sulphur Banks.
b. 360 Videos: 36, 37, 38 (close up); 360 Photos 39, 40—Sulphur Banks (Ha’akulamanu) In this thermal area on the flank of Kilauea, groundwater steam and volcanic gases escape from the ground. The gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is responsible for the rotten egg smell in the area. The yellow deposits on the rocks are sulfur crystals derived from the sulfurous gases. These gases also interact with water to form strong sulfuric acid, which weather the normally black basaltic rocks into lighter clays, which are also stained red and brown with iron oxide minerals. Notice the types and size of plants that grow in this area. What factors might be affecting their growth?
Figure 1: Maggie Powell, Alicia Juang, and Rachel Hampton contemplate Sulphur Banks.
Figure 2: EPS concentrator Matt Moody measures the temperature of steam issuing from the Sulphur Banks area of Kilauea Volcano.