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Molten pahoehoe lava spilling from a lava tube

Molten pahoehoe lava spilling from a lava tube

E390/0257

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Credit

G. BRAD LEWIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY G. BRAD LEWIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pahoehoe lava. Molten pahoehoe lava flowing from a lava tube (upper right). Pahoehoe is a thick lava which may flow at speeds of up to 50 kilometres per hour. Lava tubes are formed when the surface of a river of molten lava cools and solidifies, but the interior remains hot and liquid. 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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