A volcano for Erik

Fantastic volcano blogger, and all around cool guy, Erik Klemetti has put out a call for volcano pictures that he can use on his Eruptions blog. I'd love to be able to send him some fantastic shot of a plinian eruption, but I live in a pretty tectonically quiet part of the world.

So this weekend, while Minnow was making spaghetti out of playdough, I decided to craft an offering for Erik:

Playdough volcano

Of course, as I was feeling all smug about my depiction of a Hawaiian shield volcano, complete with lava entering the ocean and creating hydroclastic fragments, NASA's Earth Observatory posted an image of Mauna Kea, the world's tallest volcano (as measured from the sea floor). Click over to the image to see what a proper Hawaiian volcano looks like, but in my defense I didn't have any ready made brown playdough.

But I also think I made the slopes too steep for a shield volcano. Perhaps Erik won't want to use this picture on his blog after all. :)

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Well, the windward side of Kilauea is quite green -- a rainforest even. But the leeward side (where the cool lava action happens) is pretty brown & black. :-).

Parts of the volcano are pretty darn steep, at least when you're hiking up them!

Ha! That is great! It might be a little steep for a Hawaiian shield volcano, but you can just pretend its Etna if that makes you feel better, scientifically that is.