VHP Photo Glossary: Lava

Close view of lava moving across the ground, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i

Photograph by J.D. Griggs on 13 November 1985. Lava moves across the ground as a pahoehoe flow, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i


Lava is the word for magma (molten rock) when it erupts onto the Earth's surface. Geologists also use the word to describe the solidified deposits of lava flows and fragments hurled into the air by explosive eruptions (for example, lava bombs or blocks). Lava is from the Italian word for stream, which is derived from the verb lavare--to wash.

More about lava

Textures of basaltic lava flows

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