Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Timothy A. Joyner

Committee Members

Chris E. Gregg, William C. Tollefson, Ingrid E. Luffman


Wind patterns in the Pacific Ocean fluctuate seasonally, annually, and decadally, resulting in changes in the dispersal of volcanic smog (vog) across the Hawaiian Islands. A variety of synoptic-scale weather patterns can affect the Islands, creating variability in the direction and intensity of wind patterns. Recent changes in wind profiles were analyzed to identify possible patterns that could influence and increase the dispersion of vog over time on Hawai’i Island and the other Hawaiian Islands to the northwest. Historically, Northeast Trade Winds prevailed for much of the year, shifting vog into the Pacific Ocean southwest of Hawaii and away from the state’s principal population centers, but Northeast Trade Winds have shown a 20+% reduction over the past several decades. An increase in the southerly source of prevailing wind increased the frequency and intensity of vog and its impacts on the environment and health and well-being of people across the Islands.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.