Saturday | January 20, 2018
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Subterranean passages: Speleologist to discuss Delissea lava tube system in Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a

An astonishing abundance of lava tube entrances and passages has been documented in the ahupua‘a of Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a, on the north flank of Hualalai volcano.

A subset of these caves, known as the Delissea system, spans an elevation of 3,000-6,000 feet and contains a much more complex set of lava tube passages than previously thought — with more than 22 miles of passages mapped to date — and hundreds of entrances ranging from tiny skylights to big, deep pukas. These pukas are host to a large, diverse population of native plants and trees, fossil bird bones from now-extinct species and a wide variety of cave-adapted organisms.

At the Lyman Museum next week, Peter Bosted of the Hawaii Speleological Society will discuss the techniques used to locate lava tube entrances, tell how detailed maps of the passageways are made and share photographs of the intriguing geological, mineralogical, paleontological and biological resources of this magical land down under.

The public can attend his 1 1/2-hour presentation on either of two occasions: at 3 or 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15. The event is part of Lyman Museum’s Saigo Public Program lecture series. Admission is free to museum members, $3 for nonmembers.

The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum showcases the natural and cultural history of Hawaii.

The museum is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 276 Haili St. For more information, call 935-5021 or visit


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