Lava Tube Getting Laser Scanned at Volcanoes Park

THE BIG ISLAND (Ben Caxton) — One of the most popular attractions at Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island is getting laser scanned to see if it can be reopened to the public. Even though the park has reopened after this year’s eruptions, the Thurston Lava Tube has remained closed. Officials have expressed concerns over its structural integrity following the several thousand earthquakes that rocked the park as part of the lower Puna eruption which began in May. Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane says an analysis of the lava tube’s structure is underway and should be completed by the end of the year. As part of the work the park recently conducted a 3D laser scan of the tube’s interior to compare with pre-eruption scan data to determine what changes to the tube may have occurred that affected the tube’s integrity. An in-person inspection of the tube is expected by the end of November.

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