Friday, December 02, 2005

Lava flow, bench collapse

My favorite volcanoes are the scary explosive kind, but I love all volcanoes all the time (even my current nemesis, the Cottonwood Wash Tuff). This week Pele has put quite the display on in Hawai'i. 44 acres of newly formed coastline have fallen into the ocean, and the fire hose (stream of lava shooting off a cliff into the ocean) and lava "water" falls (pretty self-explanatory) are amazingly beautiful.

When I was there in August 2000, I was lucky enough to see a pretty darn amazing fire hose myself. (This pre-dated my slight improvement in picture taking; I have got to get back with a digital camera with optical zoom.)

It is interesting to note that although this eruption began almost 23 years ago (in January 1983), the only deaths directly attributed to the eruption have been caused by coastline collapse (I believe the number is up to four or five, not bad in 23 years). It's pretty easy to avoid death in a Hawai'ian volcanic eruption--as long as you obey the rules (stay off the benches and beaches in the active area), you're pretty much safe.

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