Day #3 Outcrop: Mauna Ulu Flow Field

Six years ago I was on the Big Island of Hawaii leading a group of undergrads from Lake Superior State University on a geology field trip of the island. It rained on us a lot that week – no fun since we had planned to camp in tents to save money. Not that it put a damper on our desire to see geology in its natural habitat…

For today’s outcrop I’ve selected a couple of exposures of lava flows from the 1969-1974 Mauna Ulu eruptive sequence. First some nice surface forms of a’a and pahoehoe:

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Nichole Peers into a Shallow Lava Tube

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Pahoehoe Surrounds an Upright Block of A’a.

Along the shoulder of Chain of Craters Road, it’s now possible to see a cross section through the upper part of this flow field, including some lovely lava tubes.

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Lava Tube, Geologist for Scale

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Successive Coatings of Basalt Fill this Tube

And finally some flora, for the biologists out there. ;-)

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Ohia Lehua

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Life Will Find a Way