Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Photo Information

Tephra jet explosion where lava enters the sea, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
Photograph by J.D. Griggs on February 3, 1988
Explosive interaction between lava and seawater blasts a tephra jet consisting of steam, hot water, black tephra, and molten fragments into the air. This explosion is directed primarily toward the sea, but many explosions also send a shower of lava more than 10 to 20 m inland. Tehpra jets are the most common type of lava-seawater explosion, and typically occur when an open stream of lava is subjected to intense wave action.

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Updated: 1 June 2000 (SRB)