When I read the word in the book, I got the basic meaning from context, but looked it up anyway. Concurrently, there was that nagging feeling that I'd just seen the word here on WDC, so a writing-time-killing search ensued. I kind of hope I remember / run across the site source, or that whole precognition thing that swept the Newsfeed a while back could present itself as an option...and that's just a bit spooky.
"Lahar is an Indonesian word describing a mudflow or debris flow that originates on the slopes of a volcano. Small debris flows are common in the Cascades, where they form during periods of heavy rainfall, rapid snow melt, and by shallow landsliding."
I'm with Robert Waltz. I don't have to learn anything else today .
Kare is probably correct. But if it was a newer post, it's possible someone was reading the same book, and decided to use their fancy new word.
Not gonna lie, I do it fairly regularly to reinforce how to use the word. This may shock some readers to their very core, but I do learn new words outside of the 'awesome swears they make up in Quebec' vocabulary.
Lahar... a word remembered from my college course in vulcanolgy. But I looked it up anyways: A pyroclastic flow is an avalanche-like cloud that is a mixture of air, hot ash, and pumice lapilli. A lahar is a very wet, ash-rich debris flow that moves in a relatively fast-moving slurry. If I remember right there were areas of the west side of Cartago in Costa Rica destroyed by lahars. Ash and tropical rains = problems.
As for here... no clue. I checked my two old blogs and elsewhere. Nothing.
You didn't 'think/see' Kalahari by any chance... it has lahar in it and comes up on searches.