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This is an image of flowing lava.
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S. Rowland/LPI

Flowing Lava

Lava can move in broad flat lava flows, or it can move through constrictive channels or tubes. Lava flows have a large surface area so they tend to cool quickly and flow slowly. The fastest unconstricted lava flows at about 6 mi/hr (an easy jog), but rarely do they exceed speeds of between 2/3 and 1/3 mi/hr.

Lava in channels or tubes on the other hand can move quite quickly. It tends to stay hotter and maintain a lower viscosity. It can typically move up to 23 mi/hr, a sprinter's top speed. It has, however, been clocked at up to 35mi/hr, which is faster than is humanly possible to run.

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