Lava refers both to molten rock expelled by a volcano during an eruption and the resulting rock after solidification and cooling. This molten rock is formed in the interior of some planets, including Earth, and some of their satellites. When first erupted from a volcanic vent, lava is a liquid at temperatures from 700 to 1,200 °C (1,292 to 2,192 °F). Up to 100,000 times as viscous as water, lava can flow great distances before cooling and solidifying because of 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.

Read more about Lava:  Lava Composition and Behavior, Volcanic Morphologies, Lava Landforms, Unusual Lavas, Hazards, Towns Destroyed By Lava Flows, Towns Damaged By Lava Flows, Towns Destroyed By Tephra, Gallery

Other articles related to "lava":

Lava Shearwater
... The Lava Shearwater (Puffinus olsoni), or Olson's Shearwater, was a species of shearwater that bred on Lanzarote and Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands ... The remains of the species are particularly common in lava fields ...
Snowshoe Lava Field
... The Snowshoe Lava Field is a volcanic field associated with the Mount Edziza volcanic complex in northern British Columbia, Canada ... the southern end of the Big Raven Plateau and is an area of young lava flows ...
Squaw Ridge Lava Field
... The Squaw Ridge lava field, also known as the East lava field, is a young basaltic field located in the U.S ...
Lava, Celje
... Lava is a neighborhood (Slovene mestna četrt) of the city of Celje in Slovenia northwest of the city center ... Center Dečkovo Naselje Dolgo Polje Gaberje Hudinja Karel Destovnik Kajuh Lava Nova Vas Savinja Slavko Šlander Landmarks Celje Airport Celje Castle Celje Ceiling Celje Hall ...
Sachs Patera
... Solidified lava flows 10 to 25 kilometers (6 to 16 miles) long give the caldera its flower-like appearance ... The flows are a lighter tone of gray in the radar data because the lava is blockier in texture and consequently returns more radar waves ... Much of the lava, which was evacuated from the chamber, probably traveled to other locations underground, while some of it may have surfaced further south ...

Famous quotes containing the word lava:

    We walk on molten lava on which the claw of a fly or the fall of a hair makes its impression, which being received, the mass hardens to flint and retains every impression forevermore.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)