Lava Laze of Kilauea

 

Watch this spectacular USGS video showing lava laze formed by the lava of Kilauea volcano flowing into ocean at Kapoho bay on June 4, 2018.

The lava is from Kilauea Volcano’s lower east Rift Zone entering the ocean. The ocean entry is about a half-mile wide. The flow sends a large laze plume into the air along the coast.

 

What is lava laze?

When the lava flow goes into the ocean water, it boils the water and creates a white acidic plume. That’s laze.

“It’s a complex chemical reaction that occurs between the lava flow and seawater,” said Wendy Stovall, a volcanologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. “It creates a mixture of condensed acidic steam, hydrochloric acid gas and tiny shards of volcanic glass.”

From the air, the plume looks like exhaust from a factory or the white smoke released during a forest fire.

If you’re underneath the plume, a light sprinkle of rain as corrosive as battery acid can fall on you. The acid can burn your skin, irritate your eyes and make it difficult to breathe. In rare cases, the damage can be permanent.

Source: LA Times article by Heidi Chang

Geothermal Plants near a Volcano

Geothermal plants can be safely situated near a volcano, says Dr. Roland Horne, Thomas Davies Barrow Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy at Standord University.

You can read the outstanding article from Stanford University titled Geothermal at the foot of Kilauea on this and on the recent volcano eruption of Mt. Kilauea in Hawaii at https://earth.stanford.edu/news/geothermal-foot-kilauea?linkId=52195066.

In this article, Dr. Roland Horne discusses geothermal energy in the face of natural hazards and a way to tap the earth’s heat far from volcanoes in the future.

I highly recommend you read the article that I mention above. In this article you can also watch the awesome lava flow from a fissure of Mt. Kilauea on May 19, 2018 and learn about Stanford University’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.