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Pele's hair

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Title: Pele's hair  
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Subject: Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain, Devastation Trail, Volcanology, Nihoa, Types of volcanic eruptions
Collection: Glass in Nature, Volcanology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Pele's hair

Pele's hair caught on a radio antenna mounted on the south rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, Hawaiʻi, July 22, 2005
Pele's hair on a pahoehoe flow at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaiʻi, March 27, 1984
Well preserved after 1959 eruption of Kīlauea Iki Pele's hair

Pele's hair is stone mineral threads or fibers formed when small particles of molten material are thrown into the air and spun out by the wind into long hair-like strands.[1] The diameter of the strands is less than 0.5 millimetres (0.020 in), and they can be as long as 2 metres (6.6 ft).[2] The material is gold or golden-brown,[3] and is commonly found downwind from active vents.[4]

Pele's hair is primarily a scientific term used by volcanologists, and is derived from Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes.[5]


  • Applications 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • Bibliography 4
  • External links 5


A manufactured version of Pele's hair made from basalt rock and recycled slag from steel manufacturing called mineral wool or stone wool is commonly used as a non-combustible, durable, dimensionally stable, UV stable, hydrophobic, vapor permeable building insulation for residential, commercial, and high rise building.

A hydrophilic version is used as a low water usage, high yield, soil substitute for hydroponic agriculture.

See also


  1. ^ MacDonald, Abbott, and Peterson, p. 16.
  2. ^ Gill, p. 31.
  3. ^ Lopes, p. 79.
  4. ^ Morey, p. 170.
  5. ^ Nimmo, p. 86.


  • Gill, Robin. Igneous Rocks and Processes: A Practical Guide. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
  • Lopes, Rosaly. The Volcano Adventure Guide. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  • MacDonald, Gordon Andrew; Abbott, Agatin Townsend; and Peterson, Frank L. Volcanoes in the Sea: The Geology of Hawaii. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1983.
  • Morey, Kathy. Hawaii Trails: Walks, Strolls, and Treks on the Big Island. Berkeley, Calif.: Wilderness Press, 2006.
  • Nimmo, Harry. Pele, Volcano Goddess of Hawai'i: A History. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2011.

External links

  • USGS Photo Glossary: Pele's hair
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