A Kipuka is an island of land completely surrounded by one or more younger lava flows. A kipuka forms when lava flows on either side of a hill or ridge as it moves downslope or spreads from its source. Older and more weathered than their surroundings, kipukas are often covered with soil and late ecological successional vegetation that provide visual contrast as well as habitat for animals in an otherwise inhospitable environment.
Kipuka, along with ‘a‘a and pahoehoe, are Hawaiian words that have entered the lexicon of geology.
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