BERNHARD EDMAIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BERNHARD EDMAIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pahoehoe lava. Molten pahoehoe lava flowing from a Hawaiian volcano. This sticky-looking lava may flow at speeds up to 50 kilometres per hour. 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, such as the luckless trees here, which will inevitably be burned, melted or crushed. Pahoehoe lava typically solidifies into thick rope-like formations, although it can also form smooth sheets. Photographed at Kilauea Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.
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