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September 6, 2022 — Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone Lava Tree

Detailed Description

Lava erupted from Kīlauea's Southwest Rift Zone in 1823 formed this lava tree that stands approximately 4 feet (1.2 meters) high. Lava trees form when hot and flowing lava contacts a cool and moist tree, forming a coating of solid lava. This coating temporarily insulates the tree from the lava flowing around it, but eventually the tree burns but leaves behind a cavity where it used to exist. The direction that the lava flow travelled is visible in the direction that the lava wrapped around the tree. USGS image by K. Mulliken.


Public Domain.