Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Kīlauea Volcano — Overflight of Ocean Entry

Right-click and save to download

Detailed Description

The interaction of molten lava flowing into cool seawater causes pulsating "littoral explosions" that throw spatter (fragments of molten lava) and pieces of solidified glassy lava (black sand, Pele's hair, limu o Pele) high into the air. In this aerial view of the Kapoho ocean entry, these dark-colored lava particles are blasted skyward through billowing white clouds of seawater steam (laze). Ocean entry littoral explosions can create hazardous conditions both on land and at sea, because the lava fragments can be thrown far inland, as well as seaward.




Public Domain.