DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Silica (glass) pumice rock formed from molten lava. On March 19, 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, ash and small to large rocks. A 100 foot diameter vent was created and now actively releases gas, steam and ash within the park. Shown in this image is a piece of cooled pumice lava from this eruption that contains many sizes of gas bubbles. Small pieces of pumice can be carried in the wind for short distances whereas ash can is carried for miles. The lava from Hawaii's active volcano contains over 60% silica (glass). Magnification: x40 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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