Tubular Lava Stalactites
When the roof of a lava tube is cooling, a skin will form that traps semi-molten material inside. Trapped gases force lava to extrude out through small openings that result in hollow, tubular stalactites analogous to the soda straws formed as depositional speleothems in solution caves, The longest known is almost 2 meters in length. These are common in Hawaiian lava tubes and are often associated with a drip stalagmite that forms below as material is carried through the tubular stalactite and piles up on the floor beneath. Sometimes the tubular form collapses near the distal end, most likely when the pressure of escaping gases decreased and still-molten portions of the stalactites deflated and cooled. Often these tubular stalactites will acquire a twisted, vermiform appearance as bits of lava crystallize and force the flow in different directions. These tubular lava helictites may also be influenced by air currents through a tube and point downwind.
Read more about this topic: Lavacicle
Famous quotes containing the word lava:
“We walk on molten lava on which the claw of a fly or the fall of a hair makes its impression, which being received, the mass hardens to flint and retains every impression forevermore.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)