US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lava flow. Lava flow approaching the shoreline. Lava is molten rock which has reached the surface from beneath the earth's crust by travelling along faults in the rock. On the surface, the speed of a lava flow varies according to the steepness of the slope and the viscosity of the molten rock. Lava flows can travel many kilometres per hour but most move slowly and travel only a few tens of metres per hour or even per day. This lava flow later drained away to leave an empty channel. Photograph of lava from the Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, on 27 November 1989 after six years of continuous eruptions. The crater can produce about 382,000 cubic metres of lava a day over extended periods.
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