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pillow lava

pillow lava Piles of elongate basaltic lava pods, having the general appearance of a stacked accumulation of discrete stone pillows, often many hundreds of metres in thickness. Each ‘pillow’ is surrounded by a chilled, fine-grained, lava skin and sags into the pillows below it. The pillows are rarely more than one metre in diameter and in cross-section each one has a convex upper surface, radial and concentric fractures, and commonly a central cavity or tube which once fed lava to the front of the advancing finger. The morphology indicates that the pillows continued to behave as fluid bodies after the chilled carapace had formed. This provides good evidence of submarine eruption: lava entering water acquires a glassy outer skin as heat is conducted rapidly from the surface. Because water absorbs heat more readily than air, with little increase in its own temperature, the rapid surface cooling allows the molten plastic state of the pillow interior to be maintained longer than it would be in air. Pillows have been observed forming under water from lava entering the sea off Hawaii.

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"pillow lava." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pillow lava." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pillow-lava

"pillow lava." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved September 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pillow-lava

pillow lava

pillow lava Long piles of basaltic lava pods that have the general appearance of a stack, often many hundreds of metres thick, of discrete stone pillows, each ‘pillow’ rarely being more than 1 m in diameter. The morphology indicates that the ‘pillows’ continued to behave as fluid bodies after the chilled carapace had formed. This provides good evidence of submarine eruption: lava entering water acquires a glassy outer skin as heat is conducted rapidly from the surface. Because water absorbs heat more readily than air, with little increase in its own temperature, the rapid surface cooling allows the molten plastic state of the pillow interior to be maintained longer than it would be in air. Pillows have been observed forming under water from lava entering the sea off Hawaii.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

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  • Chicago
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"pillow lava." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pillow lava." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pillow-lava-0

"pillow lava." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Retrieved September 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pillow-lava-0