Hawaiian Lava Coast
One of the fastest ways for a coast to change shape is as a result of lava flow to the sea. On southeastern Big Island, new coast has been added intermittently since 1969 as a result of lava flows from satellite craters of the active volcano Kilauea. Lava from the Pu’u O’o crater flows some 9 miles (15 km) to the sea, where it cools and hardens to form land. This coastal landscape is a primitive scene of black beaches and dark cliffs made of rough, fractured lava. Plants begin to colonize newly formed areas of the coast within months of their formation.