Hilo, Island of Hawaii

Thurston Lava Tube (Nähuku)
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Monday, October 9th 2000

Out of the desert and into the rainforest. It happens as quickly as you cross the summit of the volcano to the east and windward side of the island. The islands are in the trade wind belt which brings moisture-bearing winds from northeast—the Pacific Ocean.

The lava tube is a natural tunnel formed by hot lava moving through cooler lava. The hot lava keeps moving down hill toward the sea. Frequently the hot lava keeps moving instead of cooling in place, and this leaves an open tunnel or tube.

We walked the lava tube. It is pitch black in there. Lighting has been installed along the way so that we could see where we were going. This picture was taken as the group began the climb out of the tube.

Page last updated November 7, 2000.