Hawaii Volcanic Gases and Ash - 23 of 22

Hawaii Volcanic Gases and Ash FAQs - 22 Found

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What other hazards are associated with volcanic ash?

Heavy ash fall can collapse roofs, cause short circuits and damage in electronic components, interrupt telephone and radio communications, cause power outages, clog air filters in vehicles and machinery, create poor visibility, make roads slippery or impassable, damage crops, and cause harm to grazing livestock. Airborne volcanic ash poses a serious hazard to aviation because it can diminish visibility, damage flight control systems, and cause jet engines to fail. The greatest danger is to aircraft flying near an ash plume, but winds can blow volcanic ash great distances, so it can also pose a hazard to aircraft far from an erupting volcano.


HVO vehicle leaves tracks in a thin layer of ash blanketing Crater Rim Drive after the April 16, 2008, explosion.


Airborne volcanic ash poses a serious hazard to aviation because it can diminish visibility, damage flight control systems, and cause jet engines to fail. The greatest danger is to aircraft flying near an ash plume, but winds can blow volcanic ash great distances, so it can also pose a hazard to aircraft far from an erupting volcano.


In March 2008 at the request of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, the Federal Aviation Administration closed the airspace at or below 4,000 feet above ground level and three nautical miles from Halema`uma`u Crater to minimize risks to aircraft flying near the summit of Kīlauea. Because tiny amounts of ash continued to fall from the plume, airspace above Halema`uma`u remained closed for months. 


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