Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Tephra jet explosion, Kīlauea, Hawai‘i

Detailed Description

Explosive interaction between lava and seawater blasts a tephra jet consisting of steam, hot water, black tephra, and molten fragments into the air. This explosion is directed primarily toward the sea, but many explosions also send a shower of lava more than 10 to 20 m inland. Tehpra jets are the most common type of lava-seawater explosion, and typically occur when an open stream of lava is subjected to intense wave action.


Public Domain.