Aug 1, 2012

12 Amazing Pictures of Lava Tubes Around the World


Lava tubes are natural conduits through which lava travels beneath the surface of a lava flow. Typically they are expelled by a volcano during an eruption and can be actively draining lava from a source; or they can be extinct, meaning the lava flow has ceased and the rock has cooled and left a long, cave-like channel. [Source]

Lava tubes are a type of lava cave, formed when an active low-viscosity lava flow develops a continuous and hard crust, which thickens and forms a roof above the still-flowing lava stream. Tubes form in one of two ways: by the crusting over of lava channels, and from pahoehoe (lava) flows where the lava is moving under the surface. [Source]

Lava tubes can be up to 14–15 metres (46–49 ft) wide, though are often narrower, and run anywhere from 1–15 metres (3 ft 3 in–49 ft 3 in) below the surface. Lava tubes can also be extremely long; one tube from the Mauna Loa 1859 flow enters the ocean about 50 kilometers (31 mi) from its eruption point, and the Cueva del Viento – Sobrado system on Teide, Tenerife island, is over 18 kilometers (11 mi) long, due to extensive braided maze areas at the upper zones of the system. [Source]

Below you will find a gallery of beautiful lava tubes around the world along with some interesting images of various formations within lava tubes such as lavacicles and lava pillars. When viewing, try to imagine a time when lava was flowing through these remarkable tubes. Enjoy!




1. Manjanggul Lava Tube – Jeju Island, South Korea


Photograph by Gary Cycles




2. Undara Lava Tubes – Queensland, Australia


Photograph by Jane Farquhar




3. Thurston Lava Tube – Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island of Hawaii


Photograph by Michael Oswald




4. Lava Tube in Lava Beds National Monument – California, USA


Photograph by Dave Bunnell




5. Manjanggul Lava Tube – Jeju Island, South Korea


manjanggul lava tube, jeju island, korea, 2006




6. Valentine Cave Lava Tube – Lava Beds National Monument, California


Photograph by Dave Bunnell




7. Lavacicles in Mushpot Cave Lava Tube – California, USA


Photograph by Walter Siegmund




8. Shark Tooth Stalactites – Big Island of Hawaii, USA


Photograph by Dave Bunnell




9. Lava Pillar at Manjanggul – Jeju Island, South Korea



Photograph by Rahul Rithe on Flickr




10. Manjanggul Lava Tube – Jeju Island, South Korea


inside manjanggul - tunnels




11. Lava Tube at Mojave National Preserve – San Bernardino County, California


Lava Tube

Photograph by Chazz Layne on Flickr




12. Manjanggul Lava Tube – Jeju Island, South Korea



Photograph by Jeff Boyd on Flickr







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