Green kīpukas surrounded by brown lava flows erupted from Iwate volcano, Japan
A kīpuka is an area of land surrounded by one or more younger lava flows. A kīpuka forms when lava flows on either side of a hill, ridge, or older lava dome as it moves downslope or spreads from its source. Older and more weathered than their surroundings, kīpukas often appear to be like islands within a sea of lava flows. They are often covered with soil and late ecological successionalvegetation that provide visual contrast as well as habitat for animals in an otherwise inhospitable environment.