Saturday, May 18, 2013

Geo 365: May 18, Day 138: Balls!

Sitting on the rim of the basalt flow here are three objects that the interpretive sign describes as lava balls. These are said to form in the same way as cartoon snowballs: a bit up high breaks loose and rolls down the slope of the active flow, accreting more lava as it goes, growing into a large, roughly spherically-shaped, ball. It makes good sense to me, but the reason I'm putting it into such equivocal terms is that I have never seen the name "lava balls" anywhere else, nor have I seen similar features in photos. I'm not suggesting anything wrong, nor any better explanation, just cautioning a bit of skepticism on this one.

Photo unmodified. August 21, 2011. FlashEarth location.

No comments: