Awesome A’A Lava Videos for Your Viewing Pleasure

It appears you lot love lava lots! So, as per Bruce’s request, I brought you some more. Here is a fabulous a’a lava flow from Kilauea. Listen closely – you can hear a sound like a hundred champagne glasses breaking. Those are the clinkers, cooled bits of lava tumbling from atop the flow.

There’s an excellent write-up of basalt lava flows here that will explain the whole clinker-thing. Read that, then come back for some more fun with clinkery a’a flows.

Of course, no post full of Hawaiian lava flows would be complete without surfer music, so here you are: a’a tumbling into the sea at night while surfer-type music plays merrily.

Is there a better way to spend a Sunday? Probably not. Well, maybe a few. But this is still fairly awesome.

Now that you’ve seen some lava flow, check out Erik Klemetti’s post on identifying lava flow features. One o’ these days, I’m going to do a whole series on that kind o’ thing. It’s lined up with the twelve million other topics I want to explore. So much earth science! So little time!

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Awesome A’A Lava Videos for Your Viewing Pleasure
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3 thoughts on “Awesome A’A Lava Videos for Your Viewing Pleasure

  1. 1

    Excellent. Thanks so much. My degrees are in chemistry, and I’ve only learned bits of geology as an amateur. These videos etc show me how a’a really works, which I think is hard to get from just seeing cold surfaces.
    To try to summarize, pahoehoe is a glass, like frozen peanut butter. But a’a is due to more rapid cooling with crystallization. Does that seem valid?
    To me, the most stunning of the finds linked in this post is the log-log plot in your oregonstate.edu link. That plot shows that both flow volume and flow speed have relatively clean break points between the two phenomena. In my (limited?) experience, it is rare for physical phenomena to break so cleanly between different behaviors, merely as a matter of rate amounts. It shows that these are essential realities of the same lava chemical starting material, just differentiated by their rates and other data listed in those tables.
    It’s cool when science can make deductions of the processes of chemical physics, evidenced initially just from the different patterns seen by geologists in lava flows.
    It was also great to see the evidence that the difference in flows has nothing to do with any inherent lava chemistry, and nothing to do with flow length from the initial vent. Cooling seems like such a simple idea, but the relative kinetics of its various aspects turn it in to a very complex area.
    Thanks again for a great response to my requests for the other half of the brief explanation of lava. I appreciate it, and I think many others will, as well.

  2. 2

    I love the broken glass sound that it makes, as well as that rolling, glowing sphere near the end of the first one. The music on the last one, not so much.

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