Preliminary Draft Tables

Seven Largest Lava Cave Systems on Earth

 

Version 2.1

Date: 11 June 2005

Editor: John M. Wilson wilsonjml@msn.com

 

These three tables are intended to help people understand the relative significance of the large lava cave systems. This information will be used in a presentation intended to support conservation of signification lava caves.

 

Some of the data is inconsistent due to the lack of standardized definitions, different priorities of data gathering, and different levels of research.

 

An appreciation of these lava cave systems can be conveyed in this easy to compare format even though it is incomplete, and a little inconsistent. Perhaps making these tables available to more cavers will lead to clarification of definitions and more complete reporting of lava cave system information. For example, there is no universal agreement as to what constitutes a break in a lava cave. Factors such as puka size, trench length, overburden in puka, degree of breakdown, man made obstacles, etc. are yet to be resolved. This presentation seeks to make the information available prior to the resolution of all of these issues.

 

English units of measurement units are used in these tables to save space in these early drafts. Metric units can be added at the appropriate time.

 

Information for these tables has been provided by: Don Coons, Nevin Davis, Bob Gulden, Doug Medville, Bob Richards, and John Rosenfeld

 

 

Lava Cave Systems

Caves connected by lava flows, pukas, trenches, etc.

Rank by System Length

Lava Cave System

Flow Dates

Country

State

County

System

Length

Miles

Cave

System/

Flow

Depth

Feet

Highest Elevation of Cave

Flow

Feet

Lowest Elevation of Cave/ Flow

Feet

Est.

Lava Flow Length

Miles

Caves in

System

 

Entrances

Volume

Cubic feet

1

Kazumura Cave

1400 to 1600 AD

U.S.A.

Hawaii

Hawaii

41.15

3614

4000

4000

4000

0

-0

46 ?

2

101

 

2

Kipuka Kanohina

900 to 1300 AD

U.S.A.

Hawaii

Hawaii

21.09

800

6397

6397

6397+

0

-0

15

19

55 ?

 

3

Emesine Cave (1881 System)

1881 AD

U.S.A.

Hawaii

Hawaii

17.74

9000+

9842

10170

328

328

25 ?

10

24 ?

 

4

Hualalai Ranch Cave System

3000 to

8000 BC

U.S.A.

Hawaii

Hawaii

15.72

1349

1400+ ?

2021

2021

672

25 ?

12

126

79,696,891

5

Cueva del Viento-cueva del Sobrado

 

Spain

Canarias Island

Tenerife Is.

11.185

1699

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

Pahoa Cave System

 

U.S.A.

Hawaii

Hawaii

9.942

1150

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Complejo de la Cueva de los Jameos - Verdes

 

Spain

Canarias Island

Lanzarote

9.211

984

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Longest Lava Cave in the Large Lava Cave Systems

A lava cave is defined as a continuous connected cave by traditional cave definition.

System Rank

Cave Name

Cave Length Miles

Cave

Depth

Feet

Entrances

Other Caves and Major Sections in the Lava Cave System

1

Kazumura Cave

40.85

3673

100

Kazumura Section, Sexton Section, Ola`a Section, Fern Forest Section, Lower Kazumura Section, etc; Kukui Cave

2

Kula Kai Caverns

18.7

774

25?

Kula Kai Caverns Section, Elis Section, Poha Section, Maelstrom Section, Cordwinder Section, Gale, Penelope, Emily, Big Mama, Gourdman, Cliff, Nice, Loner, Hornito, High Goat Jump, Butterfly, Leilani, March to Sea, Hawkes, Lovebird, CCofH #1 & #2

3

Emesine Cave (1881 System)

13.64

1430

14?

Emesine, Kaumana, Tree Planting Road #1 & #2, Blister, Channel #1 & #2, Honey Moon, SBR, Frosty

4

Hualalai Ranch Cave main segment

7.64

?

50?

The HRC mapping custom is not to name most cave segments of the HRC system. Some caves with significant separation have names

5

Cueva del Viento-cueva del Sobrado

11.185

1699

 

 

6

Pahoa Cave

9.942

1150

 

 

7

Complejo de la Cueva de los Jameos - Verdes

9.211

984

 

 

 

Lava Cave System Clusters of the Seven Largest Lava Cave Systems - Preliminary

Clusters include all the known lava caves from the same general lava source area. It may include many different lava flows that occurred over extended periods of time.

System Rank/

Cluster rank

Cluster Name

Flow Name

Cluster

Length

Miles

Cluster/

Flow

Depth

Feet

Highest Elevation of Cave

Flow

Feet

Lowest Elevation of Cave/ Flow

Feet

Caves in

Cluster

Entrances

In Cluster

Other Caves in Cluster in Addition to Caves Listed In the Longest Cave System Table

And background notes

1/1

Kazumura Cave Cluster

Aila`au Flow

75+?

3614 ?

4000

4000

4000

0

-0

10 + ?

150 +?

It covers half of Puna District and also shoots a large arm southward down through the park. This flow simple Loved to make tubes. It includes Kaz, Blairs, D-Road, Epperson, Keala, John Martin, Pohala #1 & #2, and even Ainaho Ranch. Kaz has 40+ miles. Add in another 30+ miles for the caves listed here. A conservative estimate for length of tubes surveyed in the Aila`au Flow would be 75+ miles. Don

2/4

Kipuka Kanohina Cluster

21+ ?

800 ?

6397

6397

6397+

0

-0

19 + ?

20 + ?

 

3/3

North Mauna Cluster

Emesine Cave

1880 and 1881Flows

43.41

9842 ?

9842 ?

10170 ?

328

328

124

250 +

Emesine is not so clear cut as this data would represent either. There are actually two separate flows in this event. They both erupted in Nov of 1880 and both flowed well into 1881. They do not connect on the surface, but we have surveyed tubes in both units. I did not include this info below. The top flow broke out at 10,600 feet elevation. We have nearly a mile of cave surveyed up there now. Its lowest point is a SERIES OF VERTICAL SHAFTS. They plunge (apparently down a rift) to a depth of more than 150 feet below the surface. We were short roped half way down a pitch blowing beaucooo air. If this thing goes on down and then horizontal it could conceivably be the source of the breakout that formed the Emesine Flow. Wed have to cross under about mile of prehistoric flows on the surface to do this, but hey, its a hollow mountain after all. Don

4/2

West Hualalai

Cluster

54.64

1349

1400+ ?

2021 ?

2021 ?

672 ?

141

280 +

Christmas Present, Better Half, etc

5

Cueva del Viento-cueva del Sobrado

11.185 ?

1699 ?

 

 

 

 

 

6

Pahoa Cave(s)

9.942 ?

1150 ?

 

 

 

 

 

7

Complejo de la Cueva de los Jameos - Verdes

9.211 ?

984 ?