Related topics: volcano

Kīlauea lava fuels phytoplankton bloom off Hawai'i Island

When Kīlauea Volcano erupted in 2018, it injected millions of cubic feet of molten lava into the nutrient-poor waters off the Big Island of Hawai'i. The lava-impacted seawater contained high concentrations of nutrients that ...

Size matters—if you are a bubble of volcanic gas

The chemical composition of gases emitted from volcanoes—which are used to monitor changes in volcanic activity—can change depending on the size of gas bubbles rising to the surface, and relate to the way in which they ...

Lava or not, exoplanet 55 Cancri e likely to have atmosphere

Twice as big as Earth, the super-Earth 55 Cancri e was thought to have lava flows on its surface. The planet is so close to its star, the same side of the planet always faces the star, such that the planet has permanent day ...

Early Earth's air weighed less than half of today's atmosphere

The idea that the young Earth had a thicker atmosphere turns out to be wrong. New research from the University of Washington uses bubbles trapped in 2.7 billion-year-old rocks to show that air at that time exerted at most ...

Asteroid impact, volcanism were one-two punch for dinosaurs

Berkeley geologists have uncovered compelling evidence that an asteroid impact on Earth 66 million years ago accelerated the eruptions of volcanoes in India for hundreds of thousands of years, and that together these planet-wide ...

New insight may help predict volcanic eruption behavior

A new discovery in the study of how lava dome volcanoes erupt, published today in Nature Geoscience, may help in the development of methods to predict how a volcanic eruption will behave, say scientists at the University ...

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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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