Pillow Lava Landscape
Reference work entry
This is a lava landscape with pillow-like features. In an underwater environment, lava flows gradually cool, and while they remain elastic, their external shells expand to form pillow-like features. Underwater environments include marine eruptions (shallow water at depths less than 500 m) and lava on land flowing into water bodies (coasts, inland lakes and rivers, and swamps). For example, the second lava flow of the Hawaiian volcanoes in 1801 was a normal ropy lava flow, but it became pillow lava when it reached the continental shelf. Pillow lava is characterised as follows: (1) It has pillow-like, spherical, raft-like or bread-like shapes, where the bottom is a concave-upward surface due to the underlying pillow-like body, and the top is often an convex-upward surface. (2) Sizes range from a few metres to dozens of metres but can be as small as a few centimetres to a few millimetres. (3) A hard, glassy shell is formed by rapid surface cooling. (4) The pores at the surfaces are in a...
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