Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Advisor 1

Chad Deering

Committee Member 1

Curtis Edson

Committee Member 2

Snehamoy Chatterjee


The Puhimau geothermal area, located near the summit of the Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, has been suggested to represent a ‘window’ into the East Rift Zone. The quantification of CO2 and H2S soil gas emissions improves our understanding of its gas emission mode- including total emission and spatial distribution and contribute to a more accurate estimation of total CO2 and H2S in the thermal area – and how these gas emissions relate to observed vegetation health from satellite data. The total emission of CO2 and H2S was interpolated by the sequential Gaussian simulation method (SGS) using Stanford Geostatistical Modeling Software (SGeMS). Ranges for total flux emissions for CO2 are 14.09 to 14.21 t d-1 and 0.0759 to 0.0764 t d-1 for H2S. Results show that faults or fractures covered by sinter are very likely to exist at Puhimau, based on the similarity between the correlation of high flux areas and the trend of the regional faults. An analysis of images derived from satellite remote sensing data was also utilized to track changes in vegetation health in the Puhimau geothermal area through time. These results indicate changes in vegetation health occur that correlate with specific volcanic events. However, the precise source of these changes in vegetation health remain inconclusive and could be the result of changes in soil gas emissions, soil temperature, or both.