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lava: molten rock that reaches the earth's surface through a volcano
molten: liquefied by heat; melted
trenches: a long narrow excavation in the ground; ditch
gulleys: a small valley or ravine; trench
gypsum: A very common mineral, hydrated calcium sulfate
pyroclastic: composed chiefly of rock fragments of explosive origin, especially those associated with explosive volcanic eruptions. Volcanic ash, obsidian, and pumice are examples of pyroclastic materials
a mixture of ashes and slag
lava cave
                              Lava Caves!

Imagine entering a cave that was once formed by the explosion of blazing hot lava. Through its melted rock quickly cooling off, you could even say you are touching real lava!

Lava caves are found where lava has formed over the surface. Lava flows down the sides of the volcano. The upper part cools and the lower part continues to flow below the surface in a tube like form. Due to the effects of the harden lava above, molten lava is able to move a long distance underground without it cooling much. Lava Caves may also be formed where lava forms trenches or gulleys on the surface afterwards  the lava roofs over as lava piles up along the top. In lava tube caves, columns form early when it is in the cooling process. After its walls have cooled, second minerals deposits such as gypsum or calcite could appear. This is caused by chemical reactions.

The formation of these lava tube caves require a special type of volcanic eruption. The kind of eruption where fluid lava flows down the sides. The more explosive the volcano the least likely a lava tube cave will be formed. The most explosive type of volcanic eruption is pyroclastic which is where rocks, cinders, and ash eject and don't form these caves. Lava tube caves are homes to many animals that are adapted to living in complete darkness. Some lava tube caves even have ancient cave writings & drawings on the walls. These drawings and writings are great for tourists who visit the caves looking for historical views and/or information!

Many lava tube caves are found in the western United States. Lava tube caves played a huge role in the shaping of the Hawaiian Islands. Here lava has flown over 50 miles from the volcano, amazing isn't it? They can also be found in the Canary Islands and Galapagos Islands. Italy, Korea, Kenya, Japan, Mexico and many other volcanic regions!
Lava Cave
     Looking inside a Lava tube cave.
Lava Cave

A volano exploding that will most likely not form a lava cave.
A pyroclastic volcano that will most likely not create a lava tube.