Can you out run a lava flow?
In every volcano disaster movie from Volcano (1997) with Tommy Lee Jones to Dante’s Peak (1997) with Pierce Brosnan someone somewhere tries to out run a lava flow.
Is this possible? (See movie cliché busted by maths here.)
Now a lava flow from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is threatening tiny town of Pahoa, Hawaii. (below).
You will find excellent information about the Kilauea and other volcanoes at the
US Geological Survey here.
How to stop lava?
As the temperature of lava exceeds 10000 C there are very few ways to stop lava. According to the Taylor Kate Brown SMH (10 SEPT 2014) options include:
Blasting (it with cold water)
Or adding concrete.
What if you are on your own.
Can you out run lava?
Lets do the maths.
Lava from Kilauea travels 17 yards per hour so the lava velocity is:
VL = 17 yds/hour = 15.5 metres /hour