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Hanon IV lava flow

Lava flow on the planet Hanon IV

Morgo's crater

Lava within the crater of the sentient volcano Morgo

Lava was molten rock that is exuded from the ground, such as during a volcanic eruption.

The miniature settlement on Terra 10 was threatened by lava due to increased volcanic activity, necessitating its relocation to the planet Verdanis once they got the attention of the passing USS Enterprise. (TAS: "The Terratin Incident")

The team of specialists on the mad planet that were attempting to locate the Soul of Alar, were nearly buried in lava, but they escaped to higher ground in the Vedala cart. Although safe from the lava, they were forced to proceed the rest of the way on foot, as the vehicle was unsuitable for the terrain. (TAS: "The Jihad")

Commander Kruge was kicked into a sea of lava while fighting with Admiral Kirk on the Genesis Planet. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

In a story told by Kor, he, Kang, and Koloth battled T'nag between "walls of fire" and "rivers of lava". (DS9: "The Sword of Kahless")

In the Julian Bashir, Secret Agent holoprogram, Hippocrates Noah attempted to release "millions of tons" of lava from beneath Earth's tectonic plates, causing the surface of the planet to subside and be flooded by the oceans. (DS9: "Our Man Bashir")

The Dulainians sacrificed sinners by throwing them into the lava within the summit crater of Morgo, their sentient volcano god. (LD: "The Least Dangerous Game")

Background information[]

Using CGI to generate a flat plane of a volcanic environment which is in Star Trek Into Darkness and creating deep water displacements with Autodesk Naiad gave the VFX artists who worked on the movie at Industrial Light & Magic an idea of how high the volcano's lava waves would be. (Cinefex, No. 134, p. 72) The movie's visual effects team put a lot of effort into trying to accurately represent the volatile nature of the lava. "We did a lot of fluid simulations on the surface of the lava, to make it as exciting as possible," stated Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett. "We found bits of reference to help us on our way." (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, p. 48) CG Simulation Supervisor Dan Pearson led a visual effects system that depicted the lava waves, based on the temperatures of the lava and whether it would form a crust. "We wanted it to feel kind of like a crazy storm might feel on water," remembered Guyett. "Every now and then I’d have visions of other movies where characters are standing on stormy rocks in the middle of the ocean and waves are splashing around them – Dan did a superb job of making that work." [1] Pearson himself observed about the lava waves, "They were quite violent [...] and Naiad worked well in allowing us to control viscosities." Simulations of the active lava involved about forty render passes. "Animators blocked out larger splashes," Pearson said, "but we mostly let the simulation do its thing." (Cinefex, No. 134, p. 78)

For Star Trek Into Darkness, freezing lava effects – in which the transition from lava to rock became the most difficult part – involved twenty different simulations. "We couldn't just freeze the velocity because lava that was not attached to the main burst was already falling," explained Dan Pearson. "We tried using depth values within the sim to freeze lava velocity, but that also left floating islands of rock hanging in space." Ultimately, ILM used Naiad viscosity values to internally coagulate lava, while exterior droplets continued to fall. Pearson commented, "The problem was scale – the lava spurts were 2,000 feet high – so we had to make sure gravity was correct as falling pieces dropped through flame." (Cinefex, No. 134, p. 81)

The lava encountered on Hanon IV on the other hand was footage of real lave from Hawaii. ("Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects", VOY Season 3 DVD special feature)

According to the script of Star Trek Generations, James T. Kirk had taken up several dangerous hobbies, including the orbital skydiving depicted in a deleted scene, and rafting down lava flows.

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