- GeoRef, Copyright 2004, American Geological Institute. Reference includes data from U. S. Geological Survey, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, , United States
Lava trees and tree moulds are common in many areas where fluid basaltic lava has moved rapidly over forested terrain. Lava trees are formed only by thin flows, but tree moulds are preserved in both thin and thick flows. Both structures may indicate the direction of flow of the lava in which they are preserved. The usefulness of lava trees in this regard is limited to recent flows; tree moulds, however, have been described in rocks as old as middle Tertiary. Features commonly well preserved on the inner walls of moulds indicate the local flow direction. When found in sufficient number, tree moulds provide information on the palaeoslope and vent location.