Lavacicle Caves

Lavacicle Caves
The Geology of Lavacicle Caves. Stalactites in Arnarker lava tube Icelandic cave

Lavacicle Caves

The generic term "lavacicle" has been applied to lava stalactites and stalagmites indiscriminately, and evolved from the word "icicle". 

Lavacicle is formed in lava tubes while lava is still active inside. The mechanism of formation is similar to that of limestone stalagmites.

Essentially, it is still the deposition of material on the floors of caves; however with lava stalagmites, formation happens very quickly in only a matter of hours, days, or weeks, whereas limestone stalagmites may take up to thousands of years.

A key difference with lava stalagmites is that once the lava has ceased flowing, so too will the stalagmites cease to grow. This means if the stalagmite were to be broken it would never grow back.

Lavacicle Caves
Lava stalactites in a Mount St. Helens Cave,Washington state.
© Jim Nieland

Stalagmites in lava tubes are rarer than their stalactite counterparts because during formation the dripping material falls onto still-moving lava floors that absorb or carry the material away.

In other words lavacicle is geological formation consisting of a quantity of lava that dripped from the roof of a cave as it cooled and hardened, leaving a rounded protrusion.
Lavacicle Caves
Shark tooth stalactites in Gjábakkahellir, Iceland.
credit: © Wolfgang Pölzer

Lavacicle Caves
lava stalagmites Viðgelmir cave in Hallmundarhraun
lava field,
Iceland via:

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