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Front of a pahoehoe lava flow on Hawaii

Front of a pahoehoe lava flow on Hawaii

E390/0213

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Credit

BERNHARD EDMAIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BERNHARD EDMAIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pahoehoe lava. View of the front of a molten pahoehoe lava flow from a Hawaiian volcano. 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 rope-like 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 lava destroys anything in its path, which is inevitably burned, melted or crushed. Photographed at Kilauea Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.

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