Drip Stalagmite

When tubular lava stalactites form, they may extrude material through their centers which accumulates beneath them. The resulting stalagmite (sometimes called a driblet spire) has a blobby appearance, much like a dripping wax candle might produce. They are typically no more than a foot high, but some over six feet high are known.

Drip stalagmites are typically wider at their base, like their limestone counterparts. But they may be more uniformly thin, as in the remarkable grouping in photo #2. Photo #4 shows that not all lava stalagmites are free standing, but may form along a wall. In photo #5 we see a drip stal at the base of a long tubular lava stalactite that fed the material piled up beneath it. On the right side of the same photo is a very rare extruded lava formation known as a lava cockscomb. Photos 6 and 7 show more detail on some drip stals and how they can vary, and photo 8 shows a lava tube floor dense with them.

AUTHOR: Dave Bunnell