Geologists warn of dangers of ‘toothpaste lava’ on Big Island

Geologists warn of dangers of ‘toothpaste lava’ on Big Island
Geologists are warning of the dangers of "toothpaste lava" near Isaac Hale Beach Park (Image: USGS)

PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - It may be interesting to look at, but officials are warning the public to stay away from what’s being called “toothpaste lava” near Isaac Hale Beach Park.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, "toothpaste lava" is the informal name for the spiny pahoehoe lava that oozed out from an a'a flow.

Pahoehoe is the name for smooth lava, while a'a is more jagged.

Geologists examining the "toothpaste lava" say the spiny texture can result in serious injury if people fall while trying to walk on it.

Some people have already been injured.

Geologists say the lobe is up to 13 feet thick and 77 yards long.

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