Sunday, August 13, 2006

Kilauea volcano has lava flows into ocean

Lava has started flowing from Kilauea Volcano into the Pacific Ocean from a new entry point, building more Big Island land.

Video taken on Thursday shows molten rock slithering down cliffs and oozing into the sea, unleashing clouds of steam as the lava hits the ocean.

Jim Kauahikaua is the scientist-in-charge at the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. He said the 2,000-degree Fahrenheit lava boils the sea water on contact. The ocean, meanwhile, freezes the lava and turns it into sand-like chunks that form a base for new land.

Similar eruptions over several million years gave birth to all the Hawaiian Islands.
The latest Kilauea ocean entry point developed the night of Aug. 3 when lava from the Campout flow hit the sea at East Kailiili.

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