A huge reddish dome that sent bursts of boiling lava to a height of 20 meters in the sky was caught in the eye of the lens and was published in the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Twitter page and naturally became viral. But in case the picture causes you a little fear, you can relax – this is a picture taken in Hawaii on October 1969.
The USGS said that the spectacular sight was documented during the eruption of the Kilauea volcano. “Symmetrical dome fountains such as this are rare,” the American institution noted.
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Fox News website explained that lava domes, also known as volcanic domes, come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. They can reach a height of 500 meters, but usually remain within the “reasonable” range of between 9 and 100 meters, according to the US Geological Survey, a phenomenon that is considered relatively common – and the symmetry is rare. The volcanic domes are formed by viscous (sticky) magma that is piled up near the opening of the volcano.
Dome fountain of episode 10, October 10–13, 1969, eruption of Kilauea Volcano. This dome fountain is about 20 m (65 ft) high. Symmetrical dome fountains such as this are rare. #Tbt #HI @Volcanoes_NPS pic.twitter.com/sKSQaVINKs
— USGS (@USGS) March 29, 2018
“Like lava flows, lava domes usually do not have enough gas or pressure to erupt abruptly or with excessive force, although sometimes the phenomenon can produce volcanic eruptions before or after,” they explained on the Oregon State University Web site.
“However, unlike lava flows, the lava that forms the volcanic domes is usually too thick and too stylized to travel a great distance, and therefore is piled up thick and high around the volcano’s opening.”
The picture that has become viral in the past few days has been photographed a few decades ago. The eruption that began on May 24, 1969, on the active volcano Kilowa lasted until July 22, 1974.
“It was the longest and most prolific eruption in this mountain for at least 2,200 years,” explained the USGS, noting that the eruption took a total of 1,774 days.
LiveScience explained that during the eruption, no less than 350 million square feet of lava were produced – but it is not the longest eruption in the region.
A separate volcano called Puʻu ʻŌʻō has been erupting continuously since January 3, 1983, making it the longest-lived eruption of the last two centuries.