Pahoehoe - hand specimen of ropy lava from the 1990 East Rift Zone eruption of Kilauea
Pahoehoe (every letter is pronounced - pah hoy hoy - with even emphasis) is the Hawaiian term for smooth lava, adopted as a geological term for ropy lava. Lava ropes vary in size, from the thickness of a pencil to the thickness of an arm or greater. The ropy structure forms when lava runs downhill and the surface has not solidified. The first field photo shows pahoehoe forming during the 2017 eruption of Kilauea. Pahoehoe can also take the form of large pillowy sheets as in the second field photo.
This pahoehoe, with an iridescent glassy surface, was collected from a flow that ran through the town of Kalapana, Hawaii during the 1990 east rift zone eruption of Kilauea Volcano.
The pencil is 5" long for scale.
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