Walking on Mars

posted by tucker

There really is no way to describe how weird/awesome/freaky it is to walk on hardened lava, in a location that, a few years ago, would have been entirely full of millions of tons of molten lava. The crater of Kilauea-Iki is still riven with cracks and chasms caused by the hardened lava breaking, and some of these reach thousands of feet down into the mantle where the lava still bubbles. When water reaches these depths, you get billowing columns of steam on the earth’s surface. It is actually kinda hard to see in this shot, but there is steam coming out of the crack toward the top. The different minerals that combined with the lava as it flowed over the earths surface created many awesome colors upon hardening. Reds and oranges are most common, as you can see here. The reddish haze in the clouds is actually called “Vog,” which is short for Volcanic Smog, caused by the combination of water vapor and poisonous gasses that escape from vents leftover from previous eruptions.

The vapor here is water, however in other places it can be sulfur dioxide, which is not nearly as harmless.

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