Geology of the National Parks



There are three Unit 3 GeoClips (movies) linked below. We hope they help you understand Unit 3 just a little bit better, and that you enjoy them.

Hawaii: Night Lava

Hawaii: Lava Tube

The hot spot of Hawaii erupts runny lava to the surface, giving some very interesting features, such as the lava tubes you will see forming in the first video, and formed in the second video. The hike out to the flowing lava was, in spring of 2007, over three miles across rough, often broken and glassy lava that solidified from glowing hot flows over the last couple of decades. Whales were spouting offshore when Dr. Alley and family made the trip. Tag along, and see what they saw.

Hawaii: Southwest Rift

Lava was erupting in the Southwest Rift of Kilauea not that long ago. Sometimes, the lava erupts with a little force, throwing pieces that freeze to glass in the air and rain down. Other times, the lava flows even more quietly along the surface. Here, you can see evidence of both.

Want to see more?

Optional Videos, for your enjoyment (and education, but you won't be quizzed on them.) Volcanoes are just too interesting to leave so quickly, so here are some more looks at these important, and dangerous, pieces of our planet. First, visit Hawaii again, and see some strange things. Then, head over to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Arizona, with the CAUSE class. Have fun, and keep your feet cool!

Hawaii: Tree Mold

Hawaiian lava flows engulf whatever is in their way, including trees. What happens when hot lava hits a cold, wet tree? Find out here, your chance to look down on Dr. Alley.

Hawaii: Boiling Cauldrons

Kilauea Volcano is a wonderful place to visit. Stay in the lodge on the rim, and you'll wake up to the view shown here behind Dr. Alley.

Cinder cones are rather odd volcanoes, formed of pyroclastic bits tossed through the air to pile up near the vent. If you let the spaghetti sauce boil on the stove, without a lid, you would soon have a lot of tomato-sauce blobs around the pot. Let those build up, and you are heading for a cinder cone. Here, see three different versions of the cinder cones at Sunset Crater.

CAUSE 2004 - Sunset National Park #1

An explanation of cinder cone volcano formation by CAUSE student Sam A.

CAUSE 2004 - Sunset National Park #2

Another, slightly "dramatized" explanation of cinder cone volcano formation by CAUSE students Stephanie S. and Raya G.

CAUSE 2004 - Sunset National Park #3

A third explanation of cinder cone volcano formation, by Dr. Alley himself.