Lava Tube

Lava Tube

Lava Tube Landforms Have 2 Main Characteristics:

  1. A lava flow that has solidified
  2. The interior is hollow like a cave

Example of a Lava Tube Landform:
Lava Beds National Monument, California, USA
The lava tube picture is of the Thurston Lava Tube in Hawaii Volcano National Park at the Big Island.

What is a Lava Tube Landform?

A lava tube is a flow of lava that has solidified, having a hollow area inside.

How are Lava Tubes Formed?

A flow of lava solidifies on the outer surface and the molten lava inside drains away, leaving a hollow space. Basaltic lava or another form of very fluid lava is necessary.

How Large is a Lava Tube?

A lava tube can be less than three feet wide, or large enough to form a cave of up to 50 feet wide. Some lava tubes can extend for miles.

Where Can a Lava Tube Be Found?

Lava tubes can be found in areas of current and former volcanic activity.

Famous Lava Tubes

• Lava Beds National Monument, California, USA
• Mauna Loa, Hawaii, USA
• Kazumura Cave, Mt. Kilauea, Hawaii, USA
• Monte Corona, Island of Lanzarote, Canary Islands
• Cueva del Viento-Sobrado on the island of Tenerife in Spain

Lava Beds National Monument is found on a portion of Medicine Lake Volcano in northeastern California. The volcano is no longer active and there are many large lava tubes as caves that visitors can explore. A lava tube formed in 1859 by Mauna Loa on the Island of Hawaii runs 31 miles before entering the ocean.

The Kazumura Cave begins at Mt. Kilauea, also on the Island of Hawaii, a lava tube that was formed 500 years ago. The cave continues for 40 miles at a depth of up to 3600 feet as the longest, deepest lava tube known. A 3000 year old cave was formed by a lava tube at the volcano of Monte Corona in the Canary Islands. It runs for almost 5 miles, finishing the last mile below the sea.

A large area of the cave near the entrance is used as a concert hall, permitting up to 500 people to hear a performance. Europe’s largest lava tube formation is the Cueva del Viento-Sobrado on the island of Tenerife in Spain. It includes over 10 miles of passages at three different levels, with many visible fossils that include animals no longer living today. It also served as a hideout for bandits in the 10th century.

Lava Tube definition:

A flow of lava that has a solid outer surface and is hollow

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