Sunday, October 11, 2015

Volcanoes - Hawaii

I recently took a trip to Hawaii with friends.  This is one of the things we did.

As most of you probably know, the Hawaiian islands are formed from a series of volcanoes.  The Big Island, the youngest, still has volcanic activity.  You can't go to Hawaii without exploring a volcano, since every rock you see comes from one.  But to truly explore you need to go to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  There are vast undeveloped areas of lava flow to explore.

Lava flows are like alien landscapes.  Harsh, bare landscape.  And it wants to hurt you.  It eats at your shoes, it will draw blood if you are not careful.  (I came home with five cuts on my hands.)

But it is also fascinating, especially for a geology nerd like me.  But just looking at lava isn't enough to understand everything that is going on.  So we invited a vulcanologist from the University of Hawaii, Dr. Cheryl Ganeski.  There is nothing like the energy from a scientist who loves their discipline.

There is so much to learn about what happens when an eruption happens.  For example, this hole is what happens when lava flows around a tree and solidifies before the tree burns out.

This lava was formed at a cooler temperature and different chemical makeup than the smoother lava in the second picture.

The thread in this picture is actually lava rock known as Pele's hair.

Finally, here is the glow of an active lava flow.

Be good, have fun,

Bonus Track:
Imagine a musical.  Imagine a musical about Alexander Hamilton.  Imagine a musical about Alexander Hamilton performed by a mostly African American cast.  Imagine a musical about Alexander Hamilton performed by a mostly African American cast with hip hop songs.

No go get the soundtrack.  This is amazing.

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