June 28, 2013 Guided Lava Adventure

Aloha Folks! Surface flows have stopped near the ocean entry, but the ocean entry is continuing to flow. Steaming chucks of lava could be seen floating away as saltwater from the ocean cooled the lava. Pu’u O’o is the source of the lava flows. Lava is traveling down toward the ocean in lava tubes, which insulate the lava keeping it molten. Pu’u O’o is connected to the Kilauea caldera underground by what geologists call magma chambers. Lava tubes are dangerous because lava is underground and cannot be seen. The tube system can have a thin crust of hardened lava covering the traveling lava. When lava is no longer traveling in the tube system the tube becomes hollow and is still dangerous, because people can fall into a now empty space, which can vary in depth. Until next post, Aloha!

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