Lava flow into sea

Lava flow into sea

by Martin Mergili, University of Graz, Graz, Austria

The image shows a flow of basaltic lava out of a lava tunnel into the sea. The location of the scene is the shoreline of Hawaii Big Island near the village of Kalapana. Flow direction of the lava is from the bottom to the top of the image, vaporization of sea water leads to a steam plume of considerable size. Originating from the East Rift Zone, many of the lava flows in that area occur beneath a layer of partially solidified lava.
The image was taken on August 13, 2010 during a touristic helicopter flight on a holiday trip.

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