Witnessing a volcanic eruption is one of the most awe-inspiring displays in nature. British climber Chris Horsley, 22, and his friends Gareth Hawken, 30, Geoff Mackley, 50, and Bradley Ambrose, 36, from Auckland, New Zealand, hiked up the Marum Volcano, Vanuatu, on the morning of the 25th. Instead of passing the day with their families, the team climbed down a 1200ft cliff to get close to a flowing lake of lava.
One useful byproduct of volcanic eruptions is to produce very rich, fertile soils on the flanks of volcanoes (and neighboring areas). This comes about through the process of weathering - the natural beak-down of the minerals in lava and volcanic ash and release of the nutrients. In turn, this encourages people to cultivate these areas - and it also puts these people in danger when volcanoes become active. Lava is hot because it is molten (liquid) rock. The temperature of lavas reaches 1100 degree centigrade.