Lava Balls

Lava balls are formed from pieces of breakdown that float and roll along in a stream of moving lava, accreting mass as they move. It is much like a snowball rolling downhill and growing larger as more snow sticks to it.

Lava balls tend to roll along until being wedged at a constriction, or often, are stuck to a ceiling during a surge in the flow. They may get quite large, as shown in the first two photos. Sometimes they are lifted by upwelling lava through a window or skylight and are deposited around the edges before the lava drains back in, as in the third photo.

AUTHOR: Dave Bunnell