Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 45

lava - Lava composition, Volcanic Morphologies, Lava landforms, Composition of volcanic rocks, Unusual lavas, Hazards


Hot molten rock erupted onto the Earth's surface from a volcano. On solidification it forms volcanic igneous rocks such as rhyolite, andesite, or basalt. Lava temperature and viscosity depends on its chemical composition, with the more silica-rich lava being cooler (around 900°C) and more viscous than basic lavas (temperature up to 1100°C), which flow more freely, forming volcanoes with gentle slopes.

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