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Volcano Survivor 1: Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, 2014.

November 7, 2014

Can you out run a lava flow?

dantes_peak_ver2In 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).

1 Kilauea Volcano   USGS

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:

Bombing

Blasting (it with cold water)

Barricading it

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

(See Vox.com)

Mathspig simultaneous eqn 1

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