The recent lava flows from the current eruption from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii have generated a considerable amount of interest and concern for property.
In the article slow-motion disaster as lava nears main Hawaiian road, USA Today suggests that the variable speed of the lava flow has caused considerable concern and uncertainty:
"It's like slow torture," said Paul Utes, who owns the Black Rock Cafe in Pahoa. "It speeds up, it slows down, it speeds up, it slows down. It's not like any other event where it comes and goes ... and you can move on."
Predicting the future speed of the lava flow simply isn't possible, geologists say, because the advance rate is extremely variable and depends on how much lava the volcano produces.
Despite that evasion, it seems there must be more to the story...
What geological processes affect lava flow speed from the Kilauea volcano?