Pele's hair

Thin strands of volcanic glass drawn out from molten lava have long been called Pele's hair, named for Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes. A single strand, with a diameter of less than 0.5 mm, may be as long as 2 m. The strands are formed by the stretching or blowing-out of molten basaltic glass from lava, usually from lava fountains, lava cascades, and vigorous lava flows (for example, as pahoehoe lava plunges over a small cliff and at the front of an `a`a flow). Pele's hair is often carried high into the air during fountaining, and wind can blow the glass threads several tens of kilometers from a vent.
Photograph by D.W. Peterson on 27 March 1984
Hundreds of strands of Pele's hair intertwined on the surface of a pahoehoe flow at Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i. The glass strands were erupted from Mauna Ulu, a shield that formed on the east rift of Kilauea between 1969 and 1974.

Glossary of volcanic terms. - University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pele's hair — [pā′lāz΄, pē′lēz΄] n. [transl. of Haw lauoho o Pele, after Pele, goddess of volcanoes] fine, hairlike filaments of volcanic glass formed naturally from molten lava that hardened while it was subjected to high winds or other turbulence …   English World dictionary

  • Pele's hair — Pe le s hair [After a Hawaiian goddess associated with the crater Kilauea.] Glass threads or fibers formed by the wind from bits blown from frothy lava or from the tips of lava jets or from bits of liquid lava thrown into the air. It often… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pele's hair — See also Spanish moss for information on the plant nicknamed Pele’s hair Pele s hair a geological term for volcanic glass threads or fibers formed when small particles of molten material are thrown into the air and spun out by the wind into long… …   Wikipedia

  • Pele's hair — /pay layz, pee leez/ volcanic glass thread, usually basaltic, caused by the solidification of exploding or ejected lava in the open air. [1840 50; trans. of Hawaiian lauoho o Pele hair of Pele (goddess of the volcano Kilauea)] * * * …   Universalium

  • Pele's hair — /peɪleɪz ˈhɛə/ (say paylayz hair) noun fine threads of volcanic material formed by the weathering action of wind, etc., on molten lava. {translation of Hawaiian ilauoho o Pele, from Pele, the fire goddess who inhabited a volcano} …   Australian English dictionary

  • pele's hair — ˌpālāz , ˌpēlēz noun Usage: usually capitalized P Etymology: translation of Hawaiian lauoho o Pele, from Pele, Hawaiian volcano goddess : glass threads or fibers blown by the wind from frothy lava, the tips of lava jets, or drops of liquid lava… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pele's hair —   Lauoho o Pele …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • pele's hair — GLOSSARY OF VOLCANIC TERMS A type of achnelith composed of thin, hair like strands of volcanic glass. These thin, cylindrical strands of volcanic glass are commonly golden in color, have diameters between 1 500mm in diameter, and may be up to 1… …   Glossary of volcanic terms

  • Pele's tears — Pele’s tears is a geological term for small pieces of solidified lava drops formed when airborne particles of molten material fuse into tearlike drops of volcanic glass. Pele’s tears are jet black in color and are often found on one end of a… …   Wikipedia

  • Pele (disambiguation) — Pele or Pelé may refer to any of these:Footballers*Pelé, a Brazilian footballer. *Pedro Pelé, a Cape Verde footballer *Abédi Pelé, a Ghanaian footballer *Yohann Pelé, a French footballer *Pélé, a Portuguese footballerOther*Jose Landi Jons, a… …   Wikipedia

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