Q:

What type of lava does Kilauea have?

A:

Quick Answer

A mainly basaltic type of lava is produced by Kilauea during a typical eruption. This extruded molten material is characterized by low concentrations of silica and high melting temperatures. Compared to rhyolitic lava, basaltic lava is more fluid.

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Full Answer

Kilauea belongs to a group of shield volcanoes that ring the Hawaiian Island. The mineralogical composition of Hawaiian basaltic lava constitutes around 50 percent silica. Other minerals include iron, calcium, magnesium, titanium, sodium and aluminum.

Due to its relatively high fluidity, basaltic lava may pool around craters, calderas and vents to form lava lakes. As one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Kilauea's summits are dotted with lava lakes.

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