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Saturday, May 5, 2018


The latest episode of the 35-year old Kilauea Volcano eruption surprisingly surfaced in the midst of Leilani Estates on Thursday.  Then yesterday, the strongest earthquake to hit the State of Hawaii in 43 years, measured at moment magnitude 6.9, struck close to where the seven fissures affecting this housing development were venting poisonous gases and lava.

Just prior to the initiation of this new venting, the crater, Pu'u O'o, where the whole process begun on 3January1983 (which I saw, because I was golfing at the Volcano Golf Course), experienced a caldera collapse, and released a gigantic plume of PINK gas thousands of feet high.  Why pink?  Something to do with iron compounds in the light ash, I think.

And, by the way, newscasters are confusing those gases emanating from the fissures.  Volcanic gas is usually around 60% water vapor, with almost all the rest being carbon dioxide.  However, a very small percentage in Hawaii (other sites get chlorine and florine, even more dangerous), is a combination of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and sulfur dioxide (SO2).  You can begin to smell H2S (which has a rotten egg smell) at as low as 0.1 parts per million and SO2 (has odor of burning matches)  at 0.5 ppm.  Eye irritation for H2S starts at 50 ppm, although difficulty sleeping and transitory headaches can be occur as low as 0.25 ppm, but this is probably more psychomatic (mental exaggeration) than real.  SO2 irritation begins at 10-20 ppm and 100 ppm can trigger serious bronchitis.  

A REMEDIATING POINT OF THAT PARAGRAPH IS THAT MUCH OF WHAT VICTIMS EXPERIENCE IS PSYCHOSOMATIC.  Mind you, I wouldn't want to be in those volcanic environments.  However, marketers in New Zealand and Japan tout the sulfur smells at their resorts and onsens as therapeutic.

So back to the Big Island, for, in addition to eruptions, there have been earthquakes.  But there was also a sizable earthquake in the Kohala area.  Could the whole island be at risk?

Chapter 6 of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth is all about mega-tsunamis, and compares La Palma in the Canary Islands to the Big Island.  You can buy the book, but this blog site serializes that publication.  

The bottom line is that any earthquake at ocean depths will only induce a 30-foot high tsunami in the far field (thousands of miles away).  However, a massive landfall into the ocean can trigger mega tsunamis hundreds of feet high.

Last year some seismic activity around La Palma sparked yet another article about mega-tsunamis.  This links back to Simon Day's contention Cumbre Vieja from the Canaries could send an 80-foot tsunami to New York City.

How would Florida be affected?

At 10:04AM on September 6 (I become 72 that day...but I'll be on Oahu, for sure...if not away from Hawaii on a trip), 2012, the collective strains induced by all the above cause a catastrophic failure of the vertical and horizontal extension of dyke intrusions, and the whole monolithic block falls at 250 Km/hour (155 miles/hour) piling up 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the coastline at a depth of 3048 meters (10,000 feet), creating a 100 meter (328 feet—about as tall as the highest building in Honolulu, but only half as high as the Seattle Space Needle) tsunami headed toward Seattle. Stay tuned for what happened.

Well, 2012 came and went.  So what about today?  And why Seattle?  Well, I'm in the process of writing the Introduction of SIX HOURS TO SEATTLE, a possible future novel on these prospects.  Interestingly enough, a flight from Hilo to Seattle takes just about as long as a tsunami to travel that distance.


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