National Geographic : 1959 Jun
An Advancing Tide of Fiery Lava Barricades a Road Near Pahoa Fountaining out of the vent (page 792), the monstrous wave oozed through a forest of ohia trees on Hawaii. Burned off at the base, 100 footers toppled like matchsticks. As the mass crossed the road, it sent this tentacle down the straightaway at 500 feet an hour. Clinkers rode the crest until they tumbled off the front edge and then, like the treads of a caterpillar tractor, paved a way for the hot, mobile core. "At this point," writes photographer Eaton, "we could hear the dull roar of the fountain half a mile away, the crackling brush burning at the edge of the flow, the glassy tinkle and clatter of clinkers rolling down the front. The odor was smoke; the sensation, heat; the emo tion, awe." Clearing its throat, a 15-foot-high spatter cone ejects blobs of red-hot lava. Islands of sugar cane dot a black river of cooled lava. Abrasive, treacherous, the clinkers threaten the Zahl family with shredded shoes, slashed trousers, and torn skin. 799 KODACHROMESBY J. P. EATON, U.S. GEOLOGICALSURVEY, AND (BELOW) PAUL A. ZAHL, NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSTAFF© N.G.S.