VHP Photo Glossary: Pahoehoe toe

Photo: pahoehoe toes, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i

Photograph by J.D. Griggs on 29 July 1985

Pahoehoe toe

Small protuberances called "toes" are common along the edges and flow front of an active pahoehoe flow moving across flat or gentle slopes. The flow spreads as the small toes grow in size and merge together to form a broader front, which in turn inflates with new lava moving through the molten core of the flow. Another series of budding toes will break out, move forward, and start the process over again.


In the image, the glowing pahoehoe toes were fed by lava that broke out from a lava tube (out of view) at Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i.


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