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:

Nichole Peers into a Shallow Lava Tube

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.

Lava Tube, Geologist for Scale

Successive Coatings of Basalt Fill this Tube

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

Ohia Lehua

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