Related topics: volcano

Researchers describe 70 new species in 2021

In 2021, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences added 70 new plant and animal species to the tree of life, enriching our understanding of Earth's complex web of life and strengthening our ability to make informed ...

Lunar radar data uncovers new clues about moon's ancient past

The dusty surface of the moon—immortalized in images of Apollo astronauts' lunar footprints—formed as the result of asteroid impacts and the harsh environment of space breaking down rock over millions of years. An ancient ...

Spanish volcano more active, spews 'giant lava fountain'

A volcano erupting for the past five weeks on the Spanish island of La Palma is more active than ever, officials said Monday, after new lava flows following a partial collapse of the crater threatened to engulf previously ...

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Lava

Lava is molten rock expelled by a volcano during eruption. When first expelled from a volcanic vent, it is a liquid at temperatures from 700 °C to 1,200 °C (1,300 °F to 2,200 °F). Although lava is quite viscous, with about 100,000 times the viscosity of water, it can flow great distances before cooling and solidifying, because of both its thixotropic and shear thinning properties.

A lava flow is a moving outpouring of lava, which is created during a non-explosive effusive eruption. When it has stopped moving, lava solidifies to form igneous rock. The term lava flow is commonly shortened to lava. Explosive eruptions produce a mixture of volcanic ash and other fragments called tephra, rather than lava flows. The word "lava" comes from Italian, and is probably derived from the Latin word labes which means a fall or slide. The first use in connection with extruded magma (molten rock below the Earth's surface) was apparently in a short account written by Francesco Serao on the eruption of Vesuvius between May 14 and June 4, 1737. Serao described "a flow of fiery lava" as an analogy to the flow of water and mud down the flanks of the volcano following heavy rain.

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