Students Brave Cold Weather for Lava Pour
Several students recently traveled to Syracuse University to watch another of the lava experiments being conducted by the LAVA Project, a collaboration between sculptor Bob Wysocki and geologist Jeff Karson at Syracuse University. All students involved have taken GEOL248 "Introduction to Volcanism" run by Dr. David Kratzmann.
A 500 lb batch of basaltic lava was poured on to an ice ramp. Somewhat counter-intuitively, there was no violent reaction between the ~1100C magma and the ice. The initial interaction results in the formation of chilled margin that insulates and isolates the lava while leaving it hot enough to melt the ice. The bubble-rich surface of the flow results from the steam produced when lava and ice interact.