A revelation in a lava tube!

One of the reasons for coming to Iceland is to help us understand the museums collection better. I had such a revelation yesterday in a lava tube no less!

We were on a tour of  a lava tube in Snaefells known as ‘The Cave’ and saw some lava stalagmites exactly the same as we have on display in our Nature’s Library volcano display.

Lava fountains

Lava fountains

Lava tubes form when the sides and top of a flow solidifies and the lava inside is kept hot and is free to flow through the tube without solidifying. Sometimes the flowing lava develops a skin on top and the molten lava can burst out from a hole to produce a fountain which then solidifies. It all makes perfect sense when you see it in-situ in the lava tube.

We also saw stalagmites which had formed from the lava dripping from the ceiling and also tide marks caused by the successive flows which subsequently drained out the end of the lava tube.

Lava stalagmites formed from drips from the ceiling

Lava stalagmites formed from drips from the ceiling

Tide marks from the lava flows in the tube

Tide marks from the lava flows in the tube

The spiral stairs into the lava tube... Scary!

The spiral stairs into the lava tube… Scary!

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