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Hawaii lava flow

Options for stopping lava

2 Nov, 2014

hawaii-lava-flow-optionsDenison University assistant geosciences professor Erik Klemetti assesses the options of stopping the lava flow for Wired magazine. Where a resident near Pahoa built an earth barrier to divert the flow, it has inflated and threatens to spill over the barrier, or flow onto someone else’s land. A lava flow in Iceland in 1973 was stopped by pumping water onto it and building barriers, but Pahoa doesn’t have the water supply. A controlled demolition of a building, like in the movie Volcano, won’t work, but the technique used in the film of diverting it through a channel could. Pahoa could potentially dig a channel to let the lava flow between buildings – although this would be difficult, and could create more damage than it prevents.