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Lava Flows: Field Observations and Laboratory Experiments.


Fig. 1. Basaltic lava channel, at Puu Oo , Hawaii , 1983. The flow is in the ‘mobile crust' regime. Photo Lee Allen Thomas.

Fig. 2. Basaltic lava flows: Mauna Loa , Hawaii , 1984 (above; Photo Bob Seibert); Mt. Etna, 1992 (below; Photo G. Scarpinati). Both lava flows show fractured surface crust (dark) and exposed incandescent melt (light). Both flows are in the ‘mobile crust' regime.

Fig. 3. Final morphology of a channel formed by thermal erosion during laminar flow (Kerr 2001). Hot PEG has flowed towards the viewer, down a channel 53mm wide with a 4.1 ° slope, melting an underlying layer of cold, solid PEG.

Fig. 4. Overhead view showing channel formation and surface solidification in the experiments of Kerr et al. (2006). Transparent molten PEG wax flows down on a wide, uniform slope under cold water. The solidifying wax on the flow surface is white, and can be seen against a rough black base with a 20 cm grid. This flow is in the ‘mobile crust' regime.