What is lava?

Julia Agafonova
Julia Agafonova
March 30, 2015
What is lava?

Lava is a molten mass of hot rock that is released onto the surface of the Earth during volcanic eruptions. Depending on the species, lava can be liquid and viscous, of different colors and temperatures.

In fact, the volcano erupts magma from the upper mantle at about 700 km depth, but it cools during eruption, and its gases evaporate, which is why it changes its properties. When lava hardens, various effusive rocks are formed.

In Latin "labes" - the collapse or fall. Hence the word "lava" in the Italian language and its use in Russian.

Lava species

Different volcanoes spew lava with various features.

  • Carbonate lava is the coldest and most fluid, spreading like water. When erupting, it is black or dark brown, but when exposed to air it becomes lighter until it turns into almost white.
  • Silicon lava is very viscous and for this reason it sometimes freezes in the mouth of a volcano and inflates it. Therefore, when the eruption is restored, a severe explosion occurs. Hot silicon lava dark or black and red.It flows at a speed of several meters a day and becomes black after solidification.
  • Basalt lava has the highest temperature and is very mobile. It can flow at a speed of 2 m / s, because of which a small layer can spread for tens of kilometers. It has a yellow or yellow-red color.