Lava Channel on Kilauea Volcano
January 29, 2008
The photo above showing pahoehoe lava flowing in an open channel, with overflows at both sides, was taken on the Big Island of Hawaii this past summer. This lava flow is a result of a July 21, 2007 fissure eruption on Kilauea (“Much Spreading” in Hawaiian) volcano. The channel is crusting over with a v-shaped opening pointing upstream. Crusting usually starts at the upstream end. The crust grows downstream for a considerable distance then the crust founders and sinks, opening the channel to crusting over once again. The main channel and even the overflow channels illustrate in the way they are built up over the adjacent terrain the perched nature of these kinds of lava flows. Photo snapped from a helicopter.