Geologists take burning-hot lava samples from active volcanoes -- here's how they do it without getting hurt

Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images
  • Geologists collect lava samples to understand the inner workings of volcanoes, and to help predict future eruptions.
  • On KÄ«lauea, an active volcano in Hawaii, geologists look for areas where the lava is slowly moving on the surface.
  • They approach upwind, wearing protective masks, gloves, and clothing, and use a pick-ax to pull the lava into a bucket of water.
  • The lave can be up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • After the lava cools and solidifies in the water, the geologists bag the samples to bring to their labs.

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