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Pahoehoe lava with a smooth billowy or ropy surface lava
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Pahoehoe (lava with a smooth, billowy or ropy surface) lava toes on Kilauea

June 9, 2010
Pahoehoe (lava with a smooth, billowy or ropy surface) lava toes on Kilauea, the youngest and southeastern-most volcano on the big island of Hawaii. Topographically Kilauea, which is located on the southernmost flank of Mauna Loa, was thought to be an extension of its giant neighbor. However, research over the past few decades clearly shows that Kilauea has its own magma-plumbing system, extending to the surface from more than 60 km deep in the earth. The eruption of Kilauea began more than 20 years ago in 1983 (making it one of the world's most active volcanoes--possibly the most active) and continues today at Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea's active vent. As a result, new land is almost constantly created and the vast landscape around the active vent is constantly changing. Lava erupts from the cone and flows through a tube system down Pulama pali, about 11 kilometers to the sea. (Date of Image: February 2005)


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