Today we decided to take a quick trip up to the Thurston Lava Tube (right side of drawing above).  A lava tube, as the
name implies, is a continuous cave that is formed in solidified lava through which lava flows.  For example, most of the
lava flowing into the sea flows from the rift zone above through lava tubes to where it enters the sea.  The lava doesn't
often flow on the surface - until the tube gets plugged, then all bets are off!
Here's the skinny on the tube
This is the entrance
Can you imagine molten lava flowing through here at 2000 degrees?
Looking back at the entrance
Ironically, one of the reasons we went
down into the lava tube was because
the day was hot and the tube was nice
and cool!
That morning as we left our house, we noticed that, for the first time, there were two steam
clouds instead of one.  Since we were already up at Kilauea, I decided to take a drive partway
down Chain of Craters Road to see what was going on with the steam plume(s).
As we went by, Steaming Bluffs was really cooking as well as vents in the main caldera.
Sure enough, there were indeed two plumes.  The one on the right is the one we walked out to photograph on 8/6.  The
one on the left is new.
Photos 2, page 14
August 27, 2006
Thurston Lava Tube & 2 steam plumes