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Molten pahoehoe lava flowing across lava plain

Molten pahoehoe lava flowing across lava plain

E390/0231

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Credit

STEPHEN & DONNA O'MEARA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEPHEN & DONNA O'MEARA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pahoehoe lava. Molten pahoehoe lava flowing across a plain of solidified older lava. This thick ropy- looking lava may flow at speeds up to 50 kilometres per hour. Pahoehoe lava may harden in smooth sheets or it 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. Photographed at Kilauea Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii, USA.

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