DR JUERG ALEAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JUERG ALEAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hole in a lava tunnel roof. Volcanic gases (white) rising from a 'skylight' in a lava tunnel. Molten lava (orange) is seen through this hole in the roof of the lava tunnel. Lava is molten rock that rises from beneath the Earth's surface. A lava tunnel forms as a solid crust of rock forms over a lava flow as the surface cools and solidifies. The lava beneath the surface is insulated by the overlying crust of rock, and continues to flow as a liquid through the tunnel that is formed. A 'skylight' forms when part of the rook collapses under its own weight, or a build-up of gases breaks open a crack in the roof. This lava flow is from the Kilauea volcano on the Pacific island of Hawaii.
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