Know the difference between ʻAʻā and Pāhoehoe

Time to look up the words in Wikipedia. Turns out these words are for two different types of Lava.

Photo from United States Geological Survey (USGS)

ʻAʻā means “stony rough lava”, but also to “burn” or “blaze”) is one of three basic types of flow lava. ʻAʻā is basaltic lava characterized by a rough or rubbly surface composed of broken lava blocks called clinker. The Hawaiian word was introduced as a technical term in geology by Clarence Dutton.

The loose, broken, and sharp, spiny surface of an ʻaʻā flow makes hiking difficult and slow. The clinkery surface actually covers a massive dense core, which is the most active part of the flow. As pasty lava in the core travels downslope, the clinkers are carried along at the surface. At the leading edge of an ʻaʻā flow, however, these cooled fragments tumble down the steep front and are buried by the advancing flow. This produces a layer of lava fragments both at the bottom and top of an ʻaʻā flow.

Accretionary lava balls as large as 3 metres (10 feet) are common on ʻaʻā flows. ʻAʻā is usually of higher viscosity than pāhoehoe. Pāhoehoe can turn into ʻaʻā if it becomes turbulent from meeting impediments or steep slopes. ʻAʻā lavas typically erupt at temperatures of 1000 to 1100 °C.

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Photo from United States Geological Survey (USGS)

Pāhoehoe means “smooth, unbroken lava”), also spelled pahoehoe, is basaltic lava that has a smooth, billowy, undulating, or ropy surface. These surface features are due to the movement of very fluid lava under a congealing surface crust. The Hawaiian word was introduced as a technical term in geology by Clarence Dutton.

A pāhoehoe flow typically advances as a series of small lobes and toes that continually break out from a cooled crust. It also forms lava tubes where the minimal heat loss maintains low viscosity. The surface texture of pāhoehoe flows varies widely, displaying all kinds of bizarre shapes often referred to as lava sculpture. With increasing distance from the source, pāhoehoe flows may change into ʻaʻā flows in response to heat loss and consequent increase in viscosity. Pahoehoe lavas typically have a temperature of 1100 to 1200 °C.

And that concludes the lesson for the day. Bucket List mission accomplished!

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Drink the Milk From a Coconut With a Straw

My sister is currently living in Hawaii so it is a tad more than just visiting her when I go. It’s very much a vacation in paradise. There are tons of “bucket” list adventures to cross off when on a tropical island. This was one from the book.

I had visited my sister in 2011 as a birthday vacation. We did quite a few items, like my first time stand-up paddling. While we were out on the beach, one of her co-workers went and chopped down a few coconuts from trees nearby. Then they cut into the coconuts so I could drink from it. (I had mentioned this being a checklist item to my sister, so she asked him to get them as a birthday treat).coconut 2 There were no straws, but you can’t beat having it fresh right? After we drank the juice (which was more like water then milk), they cut more of the coconut (which took a lot more chopping than I would have thought) and we dug out the meat. I’m not a fan of coconut, but it was fun to eat it still in the shell and so fresh.coconut 1Maybe, I’ll go buy one at the store (or better yet, have another opportunity in Hawaii like this) and use a straw. In the meantime, I’m counting this as mission accomplished.

Have you had any coconut related experiences?

Monthly List: October 2014

823 Accept ambiguity
826 Ask to spend the night in jail
834 Be a colonel in the war on poverty
832 Climb every mountain
831 Cut your own name in stone so it will last forever
816 Dive off a cliff into the water
820 Drink the milk from a coconut with a straw
822 Embrace chaos
833 Ford every stream
836 Get a doctorate
840 Get into the highest tax bracket
838 Get out of debt
817 Go back to your grade school and see if you can climb the rope to the top
824 Have enough to retire gracefully
829 Have five or six showerheads
815 Imagine the most pleasurable ________(fill-in-the-blank)
830 Keep meetings short and productive
819 Know the difference between aa and pahoehoe
821 Love to loaf, loaf to live, and live to loaf
811 Print your motto on your personal checks
814 Reinvent the wheel
813 Slide down the brass fire pole
827 Swim with the sharks
837 Take a course at or get a degree from Harvard
835 Take the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
828 Thwart a mugger
818 Use a chain saw and a wood chipper
825 Walk across a suspension bridge
812 Watch a building being demolished or blown up
839 Wear silk pajamas

Every month I am taking 30 items from the 2001 Things to Do book and creating a short checklist. I am using this as inspiration to work on crossing things off the list, maybe not particularly from that month, but overall to do something different. This is not necessarily a “bucket list”; it is a goal that by doing something new (or doing something I’ve done before but hadn’t documented it with photos or journaling) I will keep from feeling in a rut. I will be able to look back at the little, big, sad, happy, joyful, or heart thumping moments and feel my life has value.

One of my favorite quotes is:

“A good life is a collection of happy moments” by Dennis Waitley

This is a reminder to myself of why I have this blog. I’m working through posting all the items from the book and beyond, to keep in mind to do something. To get out there for experiences and adventures.

I’d love to hear if you have done any of these. Or if you have other ideas to try.