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Thurston Lava Tube

Guide, Map & Panoramas from Hawaii Island.

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Photo By Peter Watts

Thurston Lava Tube - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT

Panorama taken inside the Thurston Lava Tube in Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii Island. This lava tube is large enough to walk down, and is open to the public. It is sobering to think that at one time molten rock flowed through it.

Thurston Lava Tube - FURTHER INFORMATION

Thurston Lava Tube - Hawaii Island visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Thurston Lava Tube' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Hawaii.

The Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku) is one of the main attractions in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii Island. The lava tube was formed many thousands of years ago and the section open to the public is 334m long. It is accessed by steep steps down into a crater with interpretive signs explaining things as you go.

Lava tubes are formed when a low-viscosity lava flow develops a continuous and hard crust which thickens to form a solid roof over the lava stream below. The enclosed channels remain very hot with lava flowing through them long after the surrounding rock has cooled. The lava may melt into the tube deepening it. Once the eruption has ended, the last lava either flows out of the lava tube or solidifies within it.

Lava tubes play an important part of the eruption of Kīlauea volcano which has continued for over 20 years. Lava flows through a network of lava tubes for over 11km from the Pu'u 'O'o vent on the East Rift Zone down to a point where the lava enters the sea with explosions of steam, visible on the satellite view of this Hawaii map. It is possible to walk out to this point from the end of Chain of Craters Road.

ADDRESS

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
P.O. Box 52
Hawai'i National Park,
Hawaii Island
HI 96718-0052



TRAVEL DIRECTIONS AND GETTING THERE

Car: Thurston Lava Tube is on Crater Rim Drive. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is 50 miles from Hilo and about 90 miles from Kailua Kona on highway 11.



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