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Measuring and Visualizing Solar UV for a Wide Range of Atmospheric Conditions on Hawai’i Island

1
Geronimo Creek Observatory, 433 Twin Oak Road, Seguin, TX 78155, USA
2
Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
3
School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
4
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia
5
Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center, P.O. Box 641603, San Francisco, CA 94164-1603, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16060997
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract

Hawai’i Island often receives extreme (UV Index ≥ 11) solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). While the UV Index (UVI) has been measured since 1997 at Hawai’i’s high-altitude Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO), measurements where people live and recreate are rare. We measured UVI on the face of a rotating mannequin head with UVR sensors at its eyes, ears and cheeks while simultaneously measuring the UVI with a zenith-facing sensor at MLO and seven sites at or near sea level from 19 July to 14 August 2018. The mannequin sensors received higher UVR at midmorning and midafternoon than at noon. For example, at sea level the peak UVI at the left cheek was 5.2 at midmorning and 2.9 at noon, while the horizontal UVI at noon was 12.7. Our measurements were supplemented with wide-angle (190° and 360°) sky photographs and UV images of the mannequin head. Because the UVI applies to horizontal surfaces, people in tropical and temperate latitudes should be informed that their face may be more vulnerable to UVR at midmorning and midafternoon than at noon. Finally, our instruments provided opportunities to measure unexpected UVR-altering events, including rare biomass smoke over MLO and spectroscopic measurements of substantial UVR-absorbing sulfur dioxide in the eruption plume of the Kilauea volcano. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hawai’i; Mauna Loa Observatory; Kilauea; ultraviolet; UV Index; ozone; sulfur dioxide; smoke Hawai’i; Mauna Loa Observatory; Kilauea; ultraviolet; UV Index; ozone; sulfur dioxide; smoke
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.2596819
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mims, F.M., III; McGonigle, A.J.S.; Wilkes, T.C.; Parisi, A.V.; Grant, W.B.; Cook, J.M.; Pering, T.D. Measuring and Visualizing Solar UV for a Wide Range of Atmospheric Conditions on Hawai’i Island. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 997.

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