Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hawaiian Lava Tree

As lava flows out of an eruptive vent and through a forest, lava cools around the tree trunks to form vertical columns of lava within the flow field. As the surface of the lava flow cools, it hardens into a crust. Molten rock beneath this crust, can often drain away rapidly, causing subsidence of the crust. This subsidence exposes the vertically cooled columns of lava creating curiously shaped "lava trees" like the ones pictured above and below. Photo: Warren Costa
You can see lava trees in person on my Volcano Adventure! Photo: Warren Costa

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