Lava delta at Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i

Photograph by C. Heliker on 12 November 1992.

Lava delta

Lava entering the sea often builds a wide fan-shaped area of new land called a lava delta. Such new land is usually built on sloping layers of loose lava fragments and flows. On steep submarine slopes, these layers of debris are unstable and often lead to the sudden collapse of lava deltas into the sea.

The image here shows an aerial view of lava delta (center, left of volcanic fume) growing seaward at Kamoamoa on Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i. The new land is about 450 m long and 180 m wide (from sea to old shoreline).

Did You Know?