Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Magma and Lava

vocano-smokeMany people are under the misconception that magma and lava are one and the same when actually they are quite different. Perhaps you will have a better insight after reading this article.

Let us start with magma.
If you have heard of molten rock then you have heard of magma. It can be found just under the earth’s surfaceand it moves in an outward direction. Its components are crystals,along with rock remnants from the nearby region and liquefied gases. Other Magma components are aluminum, potassium, oxygen, calcium, sodium, silicon, magnesium, iron, and manganese. It also contains many other smaller amounts of elements. When magma solidifies it contains the crystals of many minerals.

Moving onto Lava
Although magma is the molten rock that lies below the Earths surface. A red hot liquid observed flowing out of the openings in the Earths crust is lava. Magma  and lava are much alike in their chemical structure. Lava is made up from liquid, bubbles, and crystals. It consists of minerals such as calcium, sodium, silicon, phosphorus, manganese, and potassium. It contains many other elements as well. In addition, if the gases from lava are not thick it will begin to liquefy which allows for an easy escape. Highly liquefied lava will build up pressure to the point of explosion.  The glow of the red hot flowing lava is due to its 700-1200 degrees temperature.

There are also pillow lavas. Their structures are much like the shape of a pillow. If the pillow lavas are present in volcanic rock they consist of masses that are pillow shaped but are not joined. They can average a size of about one meter around.

As you can see, there are significant differences and compositions between magma and lava.

(Image Credit : Flickr)

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2 Comments

  1. heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey im bored

  2. The author of this article not only writes like a crusty pair of socks, but is completely and utterly wrong about the difference between magma and lava. The difference is actually much simpler than all this other gibberish: Magma is molten rock that is underground, lava is molten rock that has come out from underground. That’s it, kids. Nothing more to it.

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