Why is Lava So Hot?

lavaWhen a volcano erupts most people associate it with hot flowing rocks. To know more facts about lava, some information about volcanoes is also needed.

Where the Substance Comes From

Most of the Earth’s surface is solid. In some parts however the crust is thin. This allows the molten rock in the Earth to emerge. These come out from volcanoes during an eruption. The volcanoes themselves are formed during the upheavals of the ground. They are made in the same way as mountains, except that their topmost parts are open and allow the liquid to come out.

Why the Substance is Hot

The deeper parts of the Earth are made up of hot molten rock. These are called magma. As the facts about lava were established, it was agreed upon that magma be called lava when the volcano spews it out. The two of them are thus the same thing.

The deeper the molten rocks in the Earth the hotter they are. These substances are about 150 km deep. At that depth the heat can reach up to 1,200 degrees Celsius. That is more than 2,000 F. Not all lava possess the same heat level. Generally speaking, the more viscous the liquid rocks, the cooler it is. The temperature difference can be around 200 degrees Celsius.

Movement

Although the liquid is viscous and thick, it can be quite fast. Other facts about lava state that some of them can move up to 10 kph even through thick greenery. On clear paths it can reach velocities of up to 60 kph. Their lengths can also go for several kilometers.

The High Viscous Types

There are many different types, and these can determine their pattern. If the substance is thick, the movement is slower. In some cases it might stop and create semi solid formation. Other tendencies are large eruptions. This takes place because it holds gas inside. When it goes up, it explodes along with pyroclastic material.

The substance isn’t likely to move in a smooth liquid fashion. It’s more possible that they erupt or expel ash.

Low Viscous Types

The facts about lava state that low viscous move more quickly. It’s been proven that they can create rivers of this substance rapidly. The reason is that while they also contain gas, it’s released more quickly. It’s also very unlikely for these substances to come with pyroclastic material.

Composition

There are many elements in the substance. Some have uncovered crystals, xenoliths and other minerals in it. The most common though are igneous rocks. The igneous rocks can come in three types: mafic, intermediate and felsic.

Dangers

Its intense heat means it is fatal to humans. Historical records show that in the past, several cities were destroyed by erupting volcanoes. Today it still happens.

However, it’s no longer as destructive as it once was. The reason is that early signs can be detected. Usually governments have special services monitoring volcanic activity. When it becomes apparent an eruption is imminent, the people are evacuated.

More facts about lava have been discovered in this century due to increase in technological knowledge. This not only promotes more knowledge about nature but also how to keep people safe from volcanic eruptions.

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