Song of Fire and Ice : See what happens when Lava meets Ice. When lava meets ice, the resulting mess can cause flooding, destroy valuable resources and even produce explosions. There are more than 200 volcanoes currently covered by ice and snow, but researchers who published a paper in Geology on Friday about the phenomenon point out that observing eruptions of snow-covered volcanoes is difficult due to the typical remoteness of the sites.
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.