THEMATIC VOLCANO PHOTO GALLERY:
- Lava flow -
[volcano listing] - [thematic listing] - [non volcanic photos]
Lava flows are almost self-explanatory. When magma is erupted in molten or a partially molten state it often has the ability to flow. This is typically the case for basaltic volcanoes such as Hawaii and Etna whose lavas usually are relatively fluid. Lava flows might form either as primary flows directly flowing out of a vent from the vent or by rapid aggregation of hot fluid spatter that fall back from lava fountains to form a flow.
Below: large lava flows from Etna in 1999 (Western flank, Bocca Nuova eruption in Oct. 99)
The appearance of lava flows can vary greatly with chemistry, flow rate, strain rate, temperature, viscosity and other factors. The most simple division can be made between aa lava that usually has a blocky appearance, since the surface of the flow breaks into spiny or blocky pieces, and pahoehoe lava flows, which form a smooth surface and often produce spectacular ropy textures.
Much more on lava flows and their various types can be
found on a brilliant section of Vick Camps "How
volcanoes work" website.
|More lava flows from Etna in 2001, Stromboli in Jan. 2003 and Hawaii in 2000/2001:|
|Above in middle row: typical example of very fluid pahoehoe lava.|
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Comments and contributions are welcome !
© Tom Pfeiffer, page created 29 March 2003.