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Pahoehoe lava flow from Kilauea volcano, Hawaii

Pahoehoe lava flow from Kilauea volcano, Hawaii

E390/0260

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Credit

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

Caption

Pahoehoe lava. Pahoehoe lava flowing over the edge of a black lava cliff. This lava originated from the Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, USA. Steam is seen rising where the lava has boiled sea water. Pahoehoe is a thick ropy-looking lava, which 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 Hawaiian islands are entirely made up of volcanic rock. The continuous eruptions of volcanoes such as Kilauea mean the islands are still growing in size.

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