Two Distinct Lava Features: Hawaii and the West Chilcotin

This is the second in the series of volcanic blog posts comparing our experience in the Hawaiian and Chilcotin shield volcanoes.

One day, Rita’s aunt, Ruth Beauchamp (who lives in Hawaii), took us to visit Lava Tree State Park. It was like walking through a lava forest.

Lava tree

When the Kilauea eruption sent red hot lava flowing down mountainsides covered in groves of ohi’a trees, they would burn, leaving tree molds  which recorded the maximum thickness of the lava as it passed the trees.

As the lava receded, a stark, black landscape remained. The ropy texture of the lava marks the exterior of the molds as the lava cools and hardens against the tree trunk.

In a matter of months, new life appears with the growth of lichens and ferns in the moist cracks of the lava.

Remains of a volcanic dike in the Ilgatchuz volcano.

When hiking through the Ilgatchuz volcano in the west Chilcotin, we also found many unique features which have been formed by nature over millions of years. Included in this time period, there have been two ice ages which have helped sculpture these forms. This is the remains of an old volcanic dike. They were like the veins of a volcano; the pathways of rising lava.

Subscribe to my Blog
Check out Photo Workshops
Subscribe to my Photo Newsletter
Purchase the volcanic book Motherstone

Leave a Reply