Environment

What happens when ice meets lava?

January 26, 2014 | by Elise Andrew

Arching fountain of a Pahoehoe approximately 10 m high issuing from the western end of the 0740 vents, a series of spatter cones 170 m long, south of Pu‘u Kahaualea.
Photo credit: J.D. Griggs

Our theme on IFLScience this week seems to be lava. First, we showed you what it looks like when lava meets a can of coke. Many of you were disappointed by this, so we showed you what it would look like if a person fell into a lake of lava. By far the most common question in response to these videos was, "what would happen if lava met ice?"

Ask and ye shall receive. Two years ago sculptor Bob Wysocki and geologist Jeff Karson at Syracuse University teamed up for an educational project they named "Project Lava". One of their experiments involved pouring Basaltic lava directly on to ice sheets.

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