Offbeat It's 'raining' green crystals in Hawaii, thanks to Kilauea volcano eruption

19:56  14 june  2018
19:56  14 june  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

Hawaii Residents Left With Nowhere To Go As Lava Continues To Erupt

  Hawaii Residents Left With Nowhere To Go As Lava Continues To Erupt If lava hasn’t claimed their homes already, they are monitoring the unpredictable flows to see if it will.An increase in volume of lava being produced by fissure 7 has huge rivers of lava moving toward the sea. A massive flow was also headed toward the Puna Geothermal Venture facility in Pahoa, Hawaii on May 27.

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Lava from Hawaii volcano destroys up to 700 homes, and there's no end in sight

  Lava from Hawaii volcano destroys up to 700 homes, and there's no end in sight Lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has destroyed about 600 to 700 homes since it began flowing early last month and there's no sign of it stopping anytime soon, officials said Monday. Punctuating that point, Kilauea again erupted early Tuesday with another explosive blast.A lava flow illuminates the evening sky above soldiers of the Hawaii National Guard near Pahoa on June 8.

In the never-ending parade of weird phenomena erupting from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano comes a "rain" of green crystals, which have been spotted on the ground after falling from the sky.

"It is literally raining gems," tweeted Tucson meteorologist Erin Jordan, who posted a photo sent to her by a friend in Hawaii. 

The gems are also known as olivine, "a common mineral in basaltic lava, which is what this eruption is producing," said Concord University volcanologist Janine Krippner. "Olivine is formed in hot and deep magmas and is brought up to the surface during an eruption."

This olivine fell out of the lava as it was spewed into the air, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Wendy Stovall told Mashable.

It's certainly not unusual to find olivine crystals in most Hawaiian lava rock, both new and ancient. "It's pretty common," Stovall said to Mashable. "There’s often olivine in rocks all over Hawaii."

Krippner said "there is even a green sand beach in Hawaii from these minerals eroding out of the basalt (lava)." Green sand beaches are rare, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The crystals are heavier than most sand types on the beach and remain behind when lighter sand grains are washed away by strong wave activity, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Hawaii volcano summit erupts with fresh ashfall

  Hawaii volcano summit erupts with fresh ashfall The summit of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupted early on Wednesday and fissures on its eastern slope sent fountains of lava up to 160 feet (50 meter) high, as the volcano showed no signs of calming down after six weeks of intensified activity. A steam explosion at the summit will likely shower communities near the volcano with ash, the Hawaii Civil Defense Agency said on Wednesday."The summit explosion produced an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4," the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

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The little crystals discovered near the volcano this week, however, are not being created during the eruption. They've been formed deep underground long ago, brewing in the molten rock, Mashable reported.

However, falling from the sky during an eruption is an unusual event:  "I have never heard of it raining out as single crystals like this," Krippner said.

This eruption episode began in early May and has destroyed hundreds of homes on Hawaii's Big Island. It shows no signs of slowing down. 

Kilauea volcano destroys 467 Hawaiian homes, officials say .
Lava now covers 5,914 acres or an area of 9.24 square miles, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency.Lava has also destroyed 467 homes, the agency said. A disaster recovery center, located inside a high school gym, and two shelters are open to the public.

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