Hazards

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Hazards

  1. 1. LAVA FLOW HAZARDS How to protect yourself and others
  2. 2. Hazards Encountered on Lava Types of Hazards: Existing Health Problems Rough Terrain Heat Related Hazards Lava Hazards Explosions––Collapses Gases––Steam Weather
  3. 3. Existing Health Problems Some visitors have pre–existing health problems that can be exacerbated on the lava flows. Heart conditions––strokes, heart attacks Diabetes––insulin shock, blackouts Lung problems––asthma, etc.
  4. 4. Existing Health Problems What can we do? Discuss (individually) or hand out questionaire to participants. Make sure anyone with an existing condition has the appropriate medication with them. Assess the situation and discourage participation by those that may at high risk. Minimize exposure to risk elements. For example, make sure that asthma suffers are not exposed to or have protection from gas and fumes etc..
  5. 5. Rough Terrain Sharp, glassy surfaces Extensive crack systems on new lava Large, hidden cracks on rifts Unstable lava surfaces Distances hard to judge Difficulty navigating, esp. in weather or clouds
  6. 6. Heat Related Hazards Walking on “cold” lava on a warm day with a wind can lead to dehydration Things get much worse approaching active lava. Radiated and covected heat vs. conducted Hot air downwind of flows and skylights. ‘A‘ā heats air more than pahoehoe Heat Exhaustion
  7. 7. Heat Related Hazards Minimize time in hot areas or very close to lava. Make sure everyone has adequate water and is fully hydrated before getting to the active lava.
  8. 8. Lava Related Hazards Thin crust over flows and lava tubes Unpredictable breakouts, surges in system, changes in speed and direction Collapse of channels Unanticipated changes in vents or tubes
  9. 9. Lava Related Hazards Always anticipate change, always plan escape routes prior to entering eruption areas. Wear protective clothing to prevent burns Have good footwear.
  10. 10. Collapses and Explosions Lava may move in or out of regions unexpectedly causing collapses or breakouts. Methane explosions Bench collapses due to underwater instability.
  11. 11. Collapses and Explosions Do not venture into regions that you are uncertain of the conditions in. Be extremely careful approaching active lava through vegetated older flows. Old pāhoehoe is more dangerous than ‘a‘ā. Stay well back of benches and watch for any signs of instability.
  12. 12. Collapses and Explosions Do not venture into regions that you are uncertain of the conditions in. Be extremely careful approaching active lava through vegetated older flows. Old pāhoehoe is more dangerous than ‘a‘ā. Stay well back of benches and watch for any signs of instability.
  13. 13. Gases and Steam Avoid being downwind of vents and areas of degassing. Gases can cause severe breathing problems. Avoid getting close to the ocean near lava flows. Steam from waves splashing onto lava can scald. The waves themselves may be very hot. Small glassy particles may be carried in the air from either vent eruptions or lava entering the ocean. Burning forests, roads, and buildings produce toxic smoke. Avoid them.
  14. 14. Gases and Steam Carry gas masks. Watch the wind and weather. Avoid prolonged exposure to gases.
  15. 15. Weather Bad weather can settle in quickly making it easy to get lost and for hypothermia to set in. If you have to cross active flows, heavy rain can produce scalding steam and obscure your vision. Lightening can be very dangerous during certain storms.
  16. 16. Weather Carry a compass and GPS. Make sure you have appropriate clothing and space blankets. Check the satellite weather maps and predictions before starting out.
  17. 17. Use All Your Senses! Vision Sound Feel Smell and don’t forget common sense!

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