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Surface Structures of Hawaiian LavasSurface and internal lava structures can be valid indicators of lava viscosity and rheology, provided that care is taken to identify and eliminate structures which are strain-rate-dependent. Here, a spectrum of types among Hawaiian basaltic flows is found ranging from pahoehoe to a'a, that are interpreted as marking a progression in lava viscosity and a change in rheology. The most fluid type in this spectrum is normal pahoehoe that has a smooth but commonly wrinkled or folded (ropy) surface. The next type, distinctly more viscous and probably non-Newtonian in rheology, is spiny pahoehoe which is characterized by a spinose surface and an absence of ropy structures. Preliminary studies on the long lavas of Mauna Loa indicated, perhaps surprisingly, that there is no clear-cut correlation of lava length with type in this spectrum of lavas, indicating that viscosity/yield strength of the basaltic lavas per se are not the primary controls determining flow length. Flowage of the lava through lava tubes, while it may help to account for the long flow distance of some lavas, is not a generally applicable explanation for long flow length.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Rowland, S. K.
(Hawaii Univ. Honolulu, HI, United States)
Walker, G. P. L.
(Hawaii Univ. Honolulu, HI, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1985
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Washington Repts. of Planetary Geol. and Geophys. Program
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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