volcano tours

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- Lava lake and pahoehoe lava: impressions from the VolcanoDiscovery tours in March 2006 -
Part I: active pahoehoe lava

16 and 23 March 2006: lava close up

Liquid lava moving beneath a thin crust of pahoehoe.

Lava flow

Large breakout flow at the beginning

Martin filiming the breakout

Patchy surface of the fast-moving breakout: the newly formed pahoehoe crust (darker, ropy parts) is unable to follow the speed of the still fluid and very hot lava beneath.

Ropy pahoehoe lava

Thin hot, still plastic crust forming almost instantly on the flowing lava is deformed into the typical ropy shape of pahoehoe lava. Active (above) and solidified (below).


Toeing pahoehoe lava

The second typical appearance of pahoehoe lava is to form toes; this happens when the lava oozes out slowly from cracks in and by lifting the (cooled) surface of the main flow, rather than from a sinlge, larger flow.