Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Lava Tunnel

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_1379

Synonym: Lava tube landscape

This is a volcanic landscape composed of tunnel-like tubular caves that form when lava flows. A shell forms when the lava flow surface meets the air and cools, while the interior remains molten and mobile for a long time. As long as new lava from the crater continues to erupt, it continues to flow. When the molten core eventually empties, a lava tube is left behind, which looks like a tunnel. In the USA, many lava tunnels in the Lava National Museum in NE California and the Craters of the Moon National Monument in southern Idaho are open to visitors. In China, a gigantic lava tunnel is located in the Quaternary basalt in the Shishan Volcanic Cluster National Geopark, Haikou. There are also lava tunnels in Wudalianchi and Jingpo Lake. These tunnels formed when flowing molten lava dripped slowly from the solidified top or from the cave wall. Most of the slender lava stalactites that formed from the roof and from wall remelting are hollow and may reach a...
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