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The Lost Jim Lava Flow
Students will simulate a pahoehoe lava flow with pudding.
the Past and the Future
Guiding Question: What
are the resources of the arctic ecosystem in Bering Land Bridge
Critical Content: Students
will know about the geologic formations of Bering Land Bridge
Group size: entire
Materials: · Illustrations
of pahoehoe flows, hot springs and maar lakes; Instant chocolate
pudding, chilled and thick! (The pudding needs to be made
the night before and chilled thoroughly for this to work exercise
to work the best.) Crunched up "Oreo" cookies or chocolate
chips, flat shallow pan, map
of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.
- Students will understand the terms lava flow and pahoehoe and
how they relate to Lost Jim Lava Flow in the Preserve.
- Students will make their own representation of a pahoehoe flow
using chocolate pudding.
Before You Begin: Review
All About Resources and Geology
in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve: Past Volcanic Activity
There are many different
types of lava that are produced from volcanoes. Some lava has a
high viscosity meaning it is thick and slow flowing, like molasses.
Some types have a low viscosity and flow freely.
The Lost Jim Flow was
thick and slow moving. The Lost Jim Lava Flow is a pahoehoe lava
flow that covers 88 square miles in the Bering Land Bridge National
Preserve. Pahoehoe is the type of lava that has a skin dragged into
wrinkles by molten lava flowing fast below it. While it is flowing,
the top layer cools and forms a skin that is wrinkled by the warmer
lava flowing below.
In this activity, you
will simulate your own pahoehoe lava flow!
- Discuss what a "pahoehoe" flow is.
- Review the location of the Lost Jim Lava Flow on the laminated
brochure map of the Preserve.
- Explain that the class is going to simulate their own pahoehoe
- Pour a generous amount of pudding in the shallow pan. Show
students how the thickness of the pudding created wrinkles in
- Use the illustration as a reference and try to make the pudding
in the pan look like-a pahoehoe flow by tipping the sides of the
pan up and down. Do this many times, giving everyone a chance
to "tip" the pan.
- Remind them that the lava keeps its wrinkles when it cools
- Sprinkle crushed cookies over the top. You've just created
your own chocolate pahoehoe lava flow.
- Divide equally between the class members and enjoy.
- This activity can also be a small group activity, with several
pans of pudding, depending on how much is available!
- How might the lava look if the lava underneath were not flowing
longer than the surface?