Thursday, October 13, 2016
The Different Faces of Lava (The Volcano Part 3)
You have probably heard that there are different kinds of lava - 'a'ā and pāhoehoe. 'A'ā has a very rough surface whereas pāhoehoe is smooth. But even though we know of these differences it is still amazing how different lava can look.
This is from the lava flow of 1974 at Kīlauea, right next to the Chain of Craters Road in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park - parts of the road were run over by the lava and had to be rebuilt.
Further on there are big boulders of lava, just by the side of the road. Some of them remind of an oversized skull.
When you look closer you can see how beautiful, sparkling and even colorful some of the lava can be.
Right next to it you find a piece of lava that looks like dried mud.
Walking on lava, especially 'a'ā, is not easy and you always have to watch out because there are holes everywhere - and you don't really want to step into them and get stuck or sprain your ankle.
We took Hilina Pali Road leading away from Chain of Craters Road and were rather surprised to see lava with a completely different look.
No, this isn't photoshopped! Isn't it amazing?
The lava in this area is very old - the last lava flow occurred about 650 years ago. That might be the reason why the color is so different (I'm just guessing here, I actually have no idea).
And through all the rock and destruction new life claims back the land.
The view to the ocean and along the coast of the Big Island is beautiful. You can see the different shades of lava flows - quite fascinating, isn't it?
Can you see the steam in the distance? This is where the hot lava of the current flow enters the ocean. But that, my friends, is a different story.