Get our newsletter!
Check out our volcano tours on VolcanoAdventures.com!
Volcanoes & Earthquakes - new app for Android
Volcanoes & Earthquakes - app for iPhone & iPad

Guaranteed tours:
12-30 Aug 2019: Kamchatka - Land of Colors - Kamchatka (Russia)
13-29 Aug 2019: Volcanoes of Java - Java (Indonesia)
1-19 Sep 2019: Kamchatka - Land of Colors - Kamchatka (Russia)
3-18 Sep 2019: From Krakatau to Bali - Java (Indonesia)
21-28 Sep 2019: Pearl of the Aegean - Santorini - Santorini Island (Greece)
12-20 Oct 2019: From Stromboli to Etna - Eolian Islands + Etna volcano (Italy)
2-18 Nov 2019: Volcanoes and Spices - N-Sulawesi + Halmahera (Indonesia)
17-21 Nov 2019: Krakatau Volcano Special - Krakatau volcano (Indonesia)
9-17 May 2020: From Stromboli to Etna - Eolian Islands + Etna volcano (Italy)
: spaces available / : guaranteed / : few spaces left / : booked out

Support us?


Maintaining the volcano and earthquake news sections on this website, the free Volcano Webcams tool and interactive map widget is a free-time, both time- and server cost intensive effort.
If you find the information useful and would like to support us, and help keep it alive and improve it, please consider making a small donation. Thank you!
Random pictures

Illustrated Volcano Glossary

Search for term:

Lava balloon

Volcanology
Steaming lava blocks on 27 Nov 2011 near La Restinga (El Hierro) photographed from the air by Guardia Civil / INVOLCAN
Steaming lava blocks on 27 Nov 2011 near La Restinga (El Hierro) photographed from the air by Guardia Civil / INVOLCAN
Lava balloons are hollow gas-filled pieces of lava floating to the surface above effusive submarine vents. Many lava balloons have been produced and observed during the ongoing 2011-12 shallow submarine eruption at El Hierro.
Floating lava blocks could result from the detachment of pillow-lava edges followed by the ascent of blocks with sufficient gas content. It is also possible that hot, gas-rich lava fragments result from small submarine lava lakes or fountains.

A thin frozen skin of lava seals the gas cavity, and the block might then rise as a hot lava balloon. During ascent, the gas exsolves and nucleates inside the hot fragment while the blocks expand. Once at the surface the interaction between the hot blocks and the seawater produces white steam columns. At the same time, while cooling at the surface, the blocks crack slowly, lose their magmatic gas and sink. Sometimes when water enters inside the hot blocks, they blow up, violently throwing fragments several meters high.
 

More on VolcanoDiscovery:

Copyrights: VolcanoDiscovery and other sources as noted.
Use of material: Most texts and images, in particular photographs, on this website are protected by copyright. Further reproduction and use of without authorization is usually not consented. If you are not sure or need licensing rights for photographs, for example for publications and commercial use, please contact us.