In addition to lava tube caves with commonly noted features, sizable subcrustal spaces of several types exist on the floor of Kilauea Caldera. Most of these are formed by drainage of partially stabilized volcanic structures enlarged or formed by injection of very fluid lava beneath a plastic crust. Most conspicuous are hollow tumuli, possibly first described by Walker in 1991. Walker mapped and described the outer chamber of Tumulus E-1 Cave. Further exploration has revealed that it has a hyperthermic inner room beneath an adjoining tumulus with no connection evident on the surface. Two lengthy, sinuous hollow tumuli also are present in this part of the caldera. These findings support Walker's conclusions that hollow tumuli provide valuable insights into tumulus-forming mechanisms, and provide information about the processes of emplacement of pahoehoe sheet flows.



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