Tags: kilauea | gems | volcano | olivine

Kilauea: Gems Shooting Into the Air Along With Volcano's Lava

Kilauea: Gems Shooting Into the Air Along With Volcano's Lava

Green sand crystals of olivine are adhered to rocks on the Green Sand Beach of the Big Island of Hawaii. (Bonita Cheshier/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 14 June 2018 04:19 PM

Kilauea is spewing green gems along with lava 130 feet into the air as the Hawaiian volcano erupts. 

The green crystals, called olivine, have turned some Hawaiian beaches green, Mashable reported. The crystals also are falling on homes located near the eruption.

The gems are common in lava flows, University of Hawaii-Hilo geologist Cheryl Gansecki said in an email to Mashable. They can be separated from the lava in various ways, including being pulverized by cars driving in the area and just falling out of the lava as it is spewed in the air.

U.S. Geological Survey scientist Wendy Stovall confirmed that lava samples from Kilauea did contain olivine, but she did not come across any separated crystals, Mashable reported. 

Several residents of the area posted photos on social media of handfuls and piles of the tiny green gems, however.

Experts think more than half of Earth’s upper mantle is made up of olivine or variations of the mineral, Forbes noted, but it is not common for crystals to fall out of the sky.

The highest quality olivine stones are called peridot and are found in some jewelry.

While it may be tempting for travelers to collect these gems, Forbes said it is illegal to remove any rocks, minerals, or sand from the state. 

The volcano has been erupting since early May and has spewed toxic gas and ash as well as lava and olivine. Although ash has been seen in the sky thousands of miles away, the eruption is in a small area and has not affected life and tourism on most of Hawaii. 

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Kilauea is spewing green gems along with lava as the Hawaiian volcano erupts.
kilauea, gems, volcano, olivine
Thursday, 14 June 2018 04:19 PM
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