Get our newsletter!
Check out the volcano tours offered by Volcano-Adventures!
Volcanoes & Earthquakes - new app for Android
Guaranteed tours:
5-9 Mar: Colima Volcano Special - Mexico
12-18 Mar: Kilauea Volcano Special - Big Island, Hawaiʻi
12-18 Apr: Kilauea Volcano Special - Big Island, Hawaiʻi
13-21 May: From Stromboli to Etna - Eolian Islands + Etna volcano (Italy)
20-27(28) May: Fascination Volcano - Santorini Island (Greece)
29 May - 3 Jun: Aegean's Hidden Gem: Isle of Milos - Milos Island (Greece)
3-18 Jun: From Krakatau to Bali - Java (Indonesia)
4-11 Jun: Nyiragongo Lava Lake & Mountain Gorillas - DR Congo + Rwanda
8-23 Jul: From Krakatau to Bali - Java (Indonesia)
10-23 Jul: Volcanoes in the South Sea - Vanuatu (South Sea)
: 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: Text and images on this webpage are copyrighted. Further reproduction and use without authorization is not consented. If you need licensing rights for photographs, for example for publications and commercial use, please contact us.