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lava tube

March 10, 2010

This sign shows how a lava tube is formed.  Just as water gathers into a stream bed to run downhill, rivers of lava do the same.  As the liquid rock is exposed to the surface temperatures, it starts to cool.  The outside edges cool fastest, thickening like concrete, then hardening.  The lava at the core remains fluid, and soon drains out of the tunnel created by its own cast.  Hawaii is riddled with these lava tubes, “like Swiss cheese” I was told.

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