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Soda = Science at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

March 6, 2014

Park rangers at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park have clever ways of demonstrating their point. Ranger Jay uses cola & mint candy to demonstrate what happens when a lot of lava is erupted through a narrow vent, like the Mauna Ulu eruption of 1969-1974. Scientists call this “tight constriction.” We call it time to stand back!


Ranger Jay used this fun and easy technique in a training session for the park’s commercial tour operators on location at Mauna Ulu. This famous eruption of Kīlauea is one of the most important eruptions for the insight it provided geologists on what typically happens during a rift zone eruption: earthquakes, towering fountains of lava, fissures , massive amounts of red-hot cinders known as tephra, and the formation of a lava shield. It’s still a fascinating place to explore and hike! Download the Mauna Ulu guide on the park website and plan your own excursion.

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