Pahoehoe near the coast of Kilauea. Photo by Steve Mattox, 1989.

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There are three types of lava and lava flows: pillow, pahoehoe, and aa. Pillow lavas are volumetrically the most abundant type because they are erupted at mid-ocean ridges and because they make up the submarine portion of seamounts and large intraplate volcanoes, like the Hawaii-Emperor seamount chain. Pahoehoe is the second most abundant type of lava flow.

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