Magma vs. Lava

Difference Between Magma and Lava

Not many of us know that the temperature beneath the surface of the earth increases as we descend. In fact, the temperature at the center or the heart, as it is called, is so high that it consists of nothing but melted rocks and other solid substances due to extremely high temperatures. We call this mixture of molten rock magma. This magma makes home for itself in some places called compartments that have a way up to the volcanoes. After the eruption of the volcanoes, it is this magma that constantly fills volcanoes. When the magma comes from the volcanoes it’s called lava. Although technically there is no difference between the magma and lava, owing to the fact that magma is actually lava, there are many who remain troubled by their differences. This article attempts to discover differences, if any such between magma and lava.

Now that we know that both magma and lava is molten rock, the differentiation between the two must be related to their different locations. We stand on the coolest surface of earth and can not even think or imagine how hot it is in the center of the earth. As you travel down into the crust and the mantle, the temperature increases gradually and there are pockets where you can find cape molten rock. This molten rock, called magma finds its way to the surface of the earth through cracks and also compartments that are introduced into the volcanoes.

The earth’s crust consists of plates that continue to run onto each other. Normally these plates fit together like pieces of a huge puzzle, but when they move, they cause friction and release a lot of energy. When the plates collide, they slide over one another and the one that is most underneath is pushed further down. This causes the molten rock or magma to make its way up between the plates.

For those who think of volcanoes as the fury of nature, they are in fact giant safety valves that release the pressure that builds up due to high temperatures inside the earth. The temperature of the magma, reaching the volcano mouth is about 700-1300 degrees Celsius. When this Magma comes from a volcano, it is known as the lava. There are different types of lava, which are classified according to their consistency or viscosity. The lava is of thin density and flowing may stream for miles and flowing gently in a slope. Due to being thick, it is very difficult for the lava to flow and gather around the mouth of the volcano.  The thickest and most dense lava doesn’t flow all. It blocks the mouth of a volcano, causing larger explosions in the future.


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