Dating lava flows

For hundreds of thousands of years, lava flows have created intricate patterns on the slopes of Hawaiʻi’s Mauna Loa volcano. Until the mid-1970s, it was impossible to know dating lava flows each of the flows occurred.

However, as this video segment adapted from NOVA describes, scientists are now using tiny artifacts of life encased in hardened lava flows to piece together the mountain’s complex geological and biological history. Log in to Teachers’ Domain to download, share, rate, save, and match to state standards. This resource was adapted from NOVA: “Hawaii: Born of Fire. An entire forest can be wiped out by streams of molten rock. In some circumstances however, a flow may encase a small amount of plant material before it is entirely incinerated.

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- 11.04.2019