Types of Lava

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Basaltic Lava

  • Made at constructive margins
  • Low silica content
  • Low viscosity (runny)
    • Flows easily and gas can escape from it easily
    • Eruptions of basaltic lava aren't violent
  • Temperature of eruption: Over 950°C (Usually 1100°C to 1200°C)
  • Usually erupt frequently and for long periods of time
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Andesitic Lava

  • Made at destructive margins
  • Medium silica content
  • Medium viscosity
    • Flows less easily and can form blockages in volcanic vents
    • Volcanic gases can't escape easily from viscous lava pressure builds up because of the lava blockages and trapped gases until the blockages are cleared by a violent eruption.
  • Eruptions are intermittent and are short-lived
  • Temperature of eruption: 750°C - 950°C
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Rhyolitic Lava

  • Made at destructive margins
  • High silica content
  • High viscosity (thick and sticky)
    • They flow less easily and often form blockages in volcanic vents, also volcanic gases can't escape easily from viscous lava.
    • Pressure builds up because of the lava blockages and trapped gases, until the blockages are cleared by a violent eruption.
  • Eruptions are intermittent and short-lived
  • Lower temperature of eruption: less than 750°C
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