Hot and Cold
June 30, 2013 7:41 AM   Subscribe

What happens when lava is poured over ice?
posted by Artw (55 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nothing good.
posted by MartinWisse at 7:48 AM on June 30, 2013


Clearly, I chose the wrong career.
posted by goHermGO at 7:48 AM on June 30, 2013 [16 favorites]


Amazing. I have a free tip for Joss Whedon's next Avengers movie: If you can write a scene where the Hulk is thrown into a volcano and swims through lava that looks like this, I'm there opening night!
posted by jeremias at 7:53 AM on June 30, 2013


The water blocks turn to smooth stone, duh.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:08 AM on June 30, 2013 [23 favorites]


The research found that lava didn’t always just melt through the ice, and flow under the surface. When lava was poured directly onto densely packed ice, the lava was able to flow over the simulated glacier at rates of tens of centimeters a second, lubricated by a layer of steam.

So basically the Leidenfrost effect? Who could have guessed? Oh right.
posted by Talez at 8:08 AM on June 30, 2013


Someone get that Vulcan an aspirin!
posted by Devonian at 8:11 AM on June 30, 2013


When lava meets ice, the resulting mess can cause flooding, destroy valuable resources and even produce explosions.

Well, heck! Let's just stand right next to it then!
posted by orme at 8:12 AM on June 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is the first time in my life I have ever wanted to live in Syracuse. It's strange and confusing for me.
posted by yeolcoatl at 8:34 AM on June 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


I didn't realize that gallons of lava were freely available for scientific study. We need to be doing a LOTTTTTT more experiments with it.
posted by ORthey at 8:54 AM on June 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also noted: It looks REALLY cool.
posted by xingcat at 8:56 AM on June 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


The coolest thing is that it looks like the steam bubbles cool and solidify as volcanic glass bubbles.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 8:57 AM on June 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


and that's how Christmas ornaments were discovered.
posted by double block and bleed at 9:02 AM on June 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


You know, parenting has its ups and downs, and isn't guaranteed to be easy even in the best of times. But it's all worth it when you yell "Hey, Lillian! Want to see what happens when you pour lava onto ice?" and your six year old comes running.
posted by KathrynT at 9:06 AM on June 30, 2013 [49 favorites]


Watching video: Where do I get me one those Mister Softee machines that dispenses hot lava?

They should put a special sensor on the free water cups at Chipotle, and have that crazy shit start pouring out when you try to steal Pepsi.
posted by dgaicun at 9:11 AM on June 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


Do we have any contact info for the people doing this experiment? I need to order a couple tons of the end product, I'm redoing the interiors of my Evil Lair.
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:15 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Like most geological studies, this would make such a cool countertop!
posted by Teakettle at 9:24 AM on June 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


It doesn't look densely packed. It seems like there's maybe an inch of ice over a grate of some kind.

Regardless: lava is awesome.
posted by curious nu at 9:35 AM on June 30, 2013


I came running and I'm a full grown adult.
posted by windykites at 9:43 AM on June 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


So I'm the only one who thinks it looks like what results when I forget about the pizza in the oven?
posted by benito.strauss at 9:53 AM on June 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


I didn't realize that gallons of lava were freely available for scientific study.

I didn't either and had to look up what they were using for "lava". Looks like it is crushed basalt rock heated in a special furnace, and they only just got this lava stuff up and running last summer, so a lot of these experiments are still very new, since it's kind of the first time scientists can start studying lava in a controlled way.
posted by mathowie at 10:05 AM on June 30, 2013 [11 favorites]


I didn't realize that gallons of lava were freely available for scientific study.

Glass blowers deal with "lava" every day. It's pretty much the same stuff, just with some different chemistries and temperatures.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:10 AM on June 30, 2013


Yeah, I was kind of guessing that sourcing the rock was easy, but that owning and operating an oven that could heat 300 kilo of rock to 1000° C on demand and pouring it wherever you wanted it was the hard part.
posted by ardgedee at 10:11 AM on June 30, 2013


There is also a sculptor on the project, which is interesting. Maybe he had the oven.
posted by thelonius at 10:28 AM on June 30, 2013


I like how the camera had to move back. Floor is lava, don't touch it!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:45 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


curious nu: density and thickness are kind of unrelated
posted by idiopath at 10:46 AM on June 30, 2013


It's like an angry shoggoth with a bad rash!
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:01 AM on June 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am extremely disappointed that no one poked at some of those bubbles with a stick.
posted by oddman at 11:04 AM on June 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


YouTube link, in case Vimeo doesn't work.
posted by jiawen at 11:07 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, if they carved those bubbles off and then sold them, I bet they could recoup a lot of their costs.
posted by jiawen at 11:08 AM on June 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


What happens when lava is poured over ice?

steam.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:12 AM on June 30, 2013


Glass blowers deal with "lava" every day. It's pretty much the same stuff, just with some different chemistries and temperatures.

Molten glass is felsic. This lava is produced from molten basalt and is more mafic. The earth's mantle used to also produce ultramafic lava (love that term!), but has cooled off too much for that sort of thing to happen any more.
posted by crazy_yeti at 11:19 AM on June 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


Totally different than what I expected. Thanks for sharing this.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:39 PM on June 30, 2013


So basically the Leidenfrost effect? Who could have guessed?

Typically the interaction of really hot shit and water is pretty violent, so this would probably be unexpected. For example, if you pour a sufficient amount of a high melting alloy onto concrete what happens is that the metal in contact with the concrete solidifies and the waters of hydration in the concrete begin let go and become steam. The steam pressure under the solid metal shell builds until it finds a weak spot. Then the steam blows through and the hardened metal shell acts as shrapnel.

I've heard it likened to a hand grenade in damage potential.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:52 PM on June 30, 2013


What surprised me was how long it took some of the ice to melt. There's a point where lava is wrapping around a piece of ice on three sides and it moves with the lava for a bit instead of collapsing into meltwater in seconds. I would not have expected that.
posted by tavella at 12:57 PM on June 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


What happens when lava is poured over ice?

I will never know because I like my lava neat.
posted by three blind mice at 1:07 PM on June 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


I love geologists - "I'm at one with the lava".

This was so cool.
posted by arcticseal at 1:38 PM on June 30, 2013


Typically the interaction of really hot shit and water is pretty violent

One of the first theories about the unparalleld explosion at Krakatoa was that " the volcano's vents had sunk below sea level on the morning of 27 August, letting seawater flood into it". "The pressure wave generated by the colossal fourth, and final, explosion radiated out from Krakatoa at 1,086 km/h (675 mph, 990 feet/second)." Was it water? Maybe not. But considering the hole left behind, the ocean certainly flowed onto/into something.
posted by Twang at 1:52 PM on June 30, 2013


Man, I could go for a grilled-cheese sandwich.

..is what that lava made me think.

What else do we think they should do with lava now that they can make it?
posted by emjaybee at 2:05 PM on June 30, 2013


When lava pours out near the sea surface, tremendous volcanic explosions sometimes occur.

The video was fascinating though. I would now love to see lava pouring out over dry ice.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 2:20 PM on June 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


An experiment of ice and fire?

ice and Lava?

Nobody has a GOT joke?
posted by Ad hominem at 2:37 PM on June 30, 2013


"What surprised me was how long it took some of the ice to melt. There's a point where lava is wrapping around a piece of ice on three sides and it moves with the lava for a bit instead of collapsing into meltwater in seconds. I would not have expected that."
This is undoubtedly due to the Leidenfrost effect mentioned up thread, where a liquid, in near contact with a mass significantly hotter than the liquid's boiling point, produces an insulating vapor layer which keeps that liquid from boiling rapidly.

You can replicate this at home by heating up an empty skillet on your stove and periodically flicking water onto it as it gets hotter. You will notice that at a certain point the water goes from sticking to the pan and almost instantly evaporating to skitttering all over it over orders of magnitude more time. Incidentally the best temperature for frying meat, taking advantage of this effect to both steam the meat and produce the Maillard reaction without charring, can be found by licking water onto the hot pan in a similar way. For extra precision go for the very small temperature window where the bubble that forms stays together.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:23 PM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


"...can be found by licking water onto the hot pan in a similar way."
OMG EDIT WINDOW

I WAS SO CLOSE

SO CLOSE

(PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FIND THE LEIDENFROST POINT WITH YOUR TOUNGE)
posted by Blasdelb at 5:28 PM on June 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


Nobody has a GOT joke?

headline of TFA has the lame and predictable reference you seek
posted by thelonius at 5:49 PM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it possible to have any post related to lava that isn't amazing? Very cool that we will be studying it in labs now.

OK, because this is the first lava-related post since I found them, I am just going to drop two lava links here: Thrill-Seeking Kayakers Paddle Across an Active Volcano and videos of Kilauea Lava Flows.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:28 PM on June 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


The photos of the kayakers by the lava flows are amazing.
posted by arcticseal at 7:29 PM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


We can finally fill in the equation: lava + ice = alien splooge
posted by Rhomboid at 8:08 PM on June 30, 2013


Thrill-Seeking Kayakers Paddle Across an Active Volcano

Holy fuck.
posted by Artw at 8:40 PM on June 30, 2013


Is this the recipe for that Mojito thing I keep hearing about?
posted by tommasz at 5:21 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Clearly, I chose the wrong career.

For those of you thinking this, may I introduce you to the wonderful world of backyard metalcasting?

Sure, it's not molten stone on ice, but it's as close as you are going to get in your backyard with some charcoal and an old hairdrier.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:26 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have to admit that I thought the link was going to be about Minecraft.
posted by milovoo at 11:43 AM on July 1, 2013


The ice stone has melted!
posted by kimberussell at 3:55 PM on July 1, 2013


Well, heck! Let's just stand right next to it then!

Came in here to say this. In the backyard metalcasting world (mentioned above) it's a big, big no-no to pour when the ground is *damp*. They are pouring onto ice. Terrible things are about to happen.

Also, I'd like to know what metal that funnel is made out of. Aren't rock melting points higher than metal ones?
posted by DU at 11:45 AM on July 16, 2013


Also, I'd like to know what metal that funnel is made out of. Aren't rock melting points higher than metal ones?

Magma/lava seems to be around 1200 C, wrought iron and carbon steel melt at @1500 C depending on the alloys, stainless steel melts at 1510 C.

Now you can see why the quest for a backyard iron foundry is so quixotic in my above links!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:57 AM on July 16, 2013


Cast aluminum in the backyard is very common and cast iron isn't uncommon.
posted by DU at 5:14 PM on July 16, 2013


cast iron isn't uncommon.

It's true, lots of people try, but without a LOT of time and money (or the ability to fabricate some serious equipment by hand out of scrap) the results appear to be a small lump of iron drippings. Even casting copper and brass takes a serious toll on most handmade refractory materials and you have to have one heck of a burner, propane and forced air just won't cut it!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:28 AM on July 18, 2013


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