DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Silica (glass) ash particles formed from a volcanic eruption. On March 24, 2008, at Volcanoes National Park (Big Island, Hawai'i), an explosive ash-laden eruption occurred at Halema'uma'u crater (inside Kilauea crater). The eruption was primarily gas, steam, and ash. A 100 foot diameter vent created in an explosive eruption on March 19, 2008 now actively releases gas, steam and ash within the park. Shown in this image is a larger ash particle composed of many tiny pieces of pulverized rock and ash from this eruption. Volcanic ash can be carried for many miles by wind blowing across the crater area. The lava from Hawaii's active volcano contains over 60% silica (glass). Magnification: x400 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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