1. microraptor says

    Scary, but at least it’s limited to lava flows and a more explosive Mt St Helens style eruption.

    The news was reporting that 1500 people had to be evacuated and there are places where lava’s flowing over roads.

  2. microraptor says

    Blargh, that should be

    and not a more explosive Mt St Helens style eruption.

  3. Snarki, child of Loki says

    Re: Hawai’ian lava flows: Pele is a much more gentle deity than that ‘Yaweh’ dude,

    A better soccer player also, too.

  4. microraptor says

    gijoel@3: That’s a fissure eruption in the video, but there are reports of above-ground lava flows as well.

  5. Callinectes says

    I awoke this morning from the terrible dream that my home was in that path of such a lava flow. On closer inspection it turned out to be the goo from Ghostbusters.

  6. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin is all in favour of volcanic eruptions and lava flows. First, they are LOUD. She likes LOUD (except for French rap “music”, which is a WMD banned in all uncivilized and most civilized Universes). Second, it’s sometimes the only way to get at buried-deep long-aged cheeses. Cheeses are frequently held in caves and caverns for ages and ages, which have a nasty habit of migrating (the caves and caverns, in addition to the cheeses), usually down down down, deeper and deeper. It’s easy to loose track of them, which is where volcanoes are helpful (in addition to being LOUD). They — and those ever-so-helpful geologists with their seismic equipment — can hint at the present location of a migrated cave or cavern, and sometimes which cheeses are held within.

    However, actually getting down to the cave or cavern to subdue and taste the cheeses is awkward. Lava is not a very friendly form of transport. And many geologists love cheese, so have a tendency to keep the detected cheese-containing cave or cavern hidden. In fact, I just got a message claiming to be from United Cheese Seismologists†, urging me to reword this comment, else, well, it’s not clear just what, but seems to involve peas. And the evil equine empire.

    From her perspective, the main problem with volcanoes is they sometimes erupt in an area renown for its cheeses, like Italy. This necessitates an emergency cheese collecting expedition (which can be a bit tricky, as they(the cheeses, and sometimes the volcano) tend to be panicking and stampeding), and evacuation to the Massive Orbital Cheese Vault‡ (of the cheeses, not the volcano, albeit sometimes she makes a mistake (did you ever wonder where the “lunar seas” came from? The exogeologists are right, they are lava flows, but not from native lunar volcanos)).

      † Nothing to do with the better-known Union of Concerned Scientists§, who are concerned with less-important things like nuclear proliferation, AGW, and so on, and not locating lost cheese-containing caves and caverns.

      ‡ Acronym spelled MOON due to a misreading of exceptionally poor clay table stylus writing.

      § When I lived in the States, I was a frequent donor to the UCS.

  7. VolcanoMan says

    Exactly reynardo.

    Hawaii is a beautiful place when the lava is flowing. And not just because Hawaii is only a PLACE in the first place because of lava erupting on top of lava until we have a collection of amazing islands that can be colonized by life. Lava is beautiful in all of its incarnations. Whether the water-fast shiny grey natrocarbonatite at Ol Doinyo Lengai in Tanzania rushing out of the base of bizarre, unearthly hornitos (constructed of the selfsame lava) sounding like a fast-flowing mountain river, or andesite at El Reventador in Ecuador moving at 20 metres a day, not even hot enough to for one to recognize it as lava (unless it’s nighttime), or the lava at Kilauea that can take so many incarnations depending on how it’s erupted and the terrain it encounters as it flows…I’ve seen all of these in person and I can attest that they are all incredibly beautiful. They remind me of the orders of magnitude difference between a human and a planetary timescale because they are the most blazingly, stupidly obvious geological processes on Earth, the ones we can witness and look at and say “yup, that’s the landscape changing before our eyes”; given this knowledge, the astute human ape can then go and think and say “y’know, maybe there are other processes that take a longer time, that we can’t see but that are just as important as volcanic eruptions at reshaping the Earth.”

    And lava is wonderful to experience in person. The sounds and the smells (like cordite with a whiff of sulfur dioxide burning the nasal and oral passages) and the intense heat you feel when you get close, they enhance a lava flow and give it personality that you just don’t get from a photograph. It was photographs that inspired me to seek out volcanic activity, but I didn’t really “get” it until I went to Hawaii and saw firsthand the molten rock for myself, pushed small (but LONG) tree branches into it to explore its texture and create little jets of methane (caused by the anaerobic combustion of the wood within the lava) that make pleasant whooshing sounds, saw and heard the little thin flakes of rock bursting off of the surface of a lava flow as it cools but still expands from within with hot new lava, noticed how fresh lava and older, cooler lava have very different appearances (the older stuff is more silvery-blue at the surface), and witnessed the impressive array of landforms lava can create. There is no doubt – lava is incredibly beautiful. Even the people whose homes are destroyed by understand this – why do you think they built or bought homes on a volcano? I read one comment from someone who had to evacuate, and he said he knew this day was coming. And he lives there anyway. It’s worth it. Volcanoes created that paradise, and volcanoes make that paradise more awesome.

  8. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    You know what they say. When you’re living on the outer crust of an enormous, spinning, molten ball of magma that is orbiting an immense fusion reactor which is chasing around in a cluster of billions of suns, shits bound happen.