Monday, April 26, 2010

Today, I'm posting the other half of the Land of Fire and Ice that I blogged about a couple of days ago. As molten lava flows outward from a volcano, the surface can harden while the lava below continues to flow. The flowing lava carves out a tunnel called a lava tube.

This lava tube collapsed and filled with rain and melting snow to form an ice cave. It is quite extraordinary that from fiery Bandera volcano, a cave of ice was formed. Arctic algae causes the ice to be lime green in color.

I'm glad I brought a fleece jacket (and shorts) when I went in that cave because it was quite cold. The woman in the top photograph lived in Washington State and mentioned there were ice caves there at the base of glaciers, but they were off limits to the public due to safety issues. Here is the story of two trapped teenagers that she told me about.

I didn't realize when I made travel plans (2 free airline tkts were set to expire) that the trip and the environment would be pertinent to the chemistry topic that I had not yet selected. Works for me!