Terrestrial Analogs: Implications for Lunar Lava Tubes

by Cassandra R. Coombs, POD Associates, Inc, Albuquerque, United States,
B. Ray Hawke, POD Associates, Inc, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space IV


Earlier work has demonstrated that lava tubes did form on the Moon. Comparison of terrestrial lava tubes to their lunar counterparts suggest that they are very similar despite the order of magnitude size difference. The lunar features may be useful in providing shelter for a lunar base ad could provide many clues to lunar volcanic history. This paper presents the initial analysis of field data collected from more than 400 lava tubes on Oahu, Molokai, and Hawaii and extrapolates the results to lunar conditions. While previous opinions held that lunar lava tubes would not be vacant, our results indicate that very few of the tubes would be completely filled with congealed lava. Less than 1% of the lava tubes examined in this study were completely filled in by subsequent lava flows.

Subject Headings: Volcanic deposits | Moon | Volcanoes | Space colonies | Soil properties | History | Geology | Hawaii | United States

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