Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tree Molds, Kīlauea, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island, Hawai'i

Truffula Trees at Kilauea? 
Truffula Trees at Kilauea? by U.S. Geological Survey

The lava was once at the level of the tops of those "lava trees" (they're actually molds of tree trunks), which formed when lava flowed around the trees and cooled against the trunks. Often the trees burn from the contact with the lava, but the trunks remain in the tree molds until they burn completely or fall down. The great thing about this photo is that it shows us the high-stand of the lava level, and it likely flowed away after some initial surge. The skinny sticks in the middle of the molds are left over tree trunks. Of course, that's not really a Trufulla tree (from The Lorax book), but rather it was formed from spatter that got caught up in the branches and cooled.

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