VHP Photo Glossary: 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
Did you know?
- A lava fountain erupted by Izu-Oshima volcano in Japan in 1986 reached a height of 1,600 m, the highest ever recorded.
- The highest lava fountain observed in historical time at Kilauea Volcano in Hawai`i reached about 580 m above the vent during an eruption in Kilauea Iki Crater in 1959.
- The world's longest continuous lava fountain in historical time was erupted from the 25-km long Laki Fissure in southern Iceland in 1783.