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Authors: Carveni, P.* 
Mele, G.* 
Benfatto, S.* 
Imposa, S.* 
Salleo Puntillo, M.* 
Title: Lava trees and tree molds (“cannon stones”) of Mt. Etna
Issue Date: 10-Feb-2011
Series/Report no.: /73(2011)
DOI: 10.1007/s00445-011-0446-3
Keywords: Lava trees
Tree molds
Etna volcano
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: Unique volcanic structures, known in the literature as “lava trees” and “tree molds”, have formed at several sites on Mt. Etna volcano (northeastern Sicily, Italy). They form when a fluid lava flow runs over a tree, wraps around it and, while the wood burns off, solidifies forming a hollow cast of the tree. The inhabitants of the Etna area call these formations “pietre cannone” (“cannon stones”) because of their cylindrical shape. The first documentation of lava trees is from Hawaii, but the first eye-witnessed accounts of their formation are, to our knowledge, from Etna’s 1865 eruption. Although many of the literature examples of lava trees and tree molds formed in pahoehoe, many of those reported in this work formed in a’a. The sites where we have found the lava tree molds are located within the territory of the Etna Regional Park; most occur next to walking trails and have a high potential for geotourism.
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