VHP Photo Glossary: Lava fountain

Lava fountain at Pu`u` `O`o vent on Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i

Photograph by J.D. Griggs on 5 October 1983. Lava fountain of the Pu`u `O`o cinder and spatter cone on Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i.

Lava fountain

A jet of lava sprayed into the air by the rapid formation and expansion of gas bubbles in the molten rock is called a lava fountain. Lava fountains typically range from about 10 to 100 m in height, but occasionally reach more than 500 m. Lava fountains erupt from isolated vents, along fissures, within active lava lakes, and from a lava tube when water gains access to the tube in a confined space (see type of explosive activity where lava enters the sea, from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory).


More about lava fountains

Types of fountains

Tephra formed by basaltic lava fountains

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