Q In Volcano, a river of lava moving along an underground tunnel threatens L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The film’s characters say the molten ooze will take 30 minutes to travel what in reality is 4.4 miles. Can lava really move that quickly?
A ”It’s not completely out of the question,” says David Hill, a seismologist and volcanologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif. ”But it would have to be pushed by something or be going down a steep slope.” Hill adds that most lava tends to move slower than a human walk. But, he says with a laugh, ”when you try to pin nature down and say something could never happen, nature says, well…” So, apparently, does Hollywood.