Pahoehoe lava flow from Kilauea volcano, Hawaii

Pahoehoe lava flow from Kilauea volcano, Hawaii

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Credit: G. BRAD LEWIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pahoehoe lava. Pahoehoe lava flow from the Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, USA. This thick ropy-looking lava may flow at speeds up to 50 kilometres per hour. Pahoehoe lava may harden into smooth sheets or may ooze out and solidify into twisted formations. Pahoehoe lava is a type of basic lava with a low silica content, giving it a low melting point. This means the lava can travel great distances from the crater or vent from which it issued. The Hawaiian islands are entirely made up of volcanic rock, and the continuous eruptions of volcanoes such as Kilauea mean the islands are still growing in size.

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Keywords: geology, hawai'i, hawaii, kilauea volcano, lava, molten, pahoehoe, pahoehoe lava, pahoehoe lava flow, volcano

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