Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thurston Lava Tube in Volcanoes National Park

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The walk to the Thurston lava Tube (named for the man who discovered it) goes through a rainforest, and it was definitely raining when we visited. Those white spots in the picture are rain drops (clumps?). The mouth of the lava tube was beautifully adorned with ferns growing naturally. The tube was huge-about 12 feet tall and wide. I don't know how long it was, but long enough to have a curve in it and require lights. There was another stretch you could go in, but it required a flash light. It was amazing to think of a river of lava flowing through this tube. There are any number of these traveling from the crater to the ocean. As lava leaves an eruption it travels in channels and can form an actual tube as the lava to the outside hardens.
A pretty good video of a walk thru the tube can be seen here

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