Magma versus Lava – The difference

14 Sep

Author: Etna Excursions
Posted on: 2016/09/14
Updated: 2017/03/15


Categories: Etna and the surrounding area, Sicily

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Did you know that .. Lava is not the same as magma. We often use the terms interchangeably. In fact, there is a differentiation.

The red-hot magma masses are located under the earth’s crust. Inside of Mount Etna there are 3 magma chambers. The largest of the three is 30 km in the deep, the middle about 10 km above the first and the smallest about 2 km below the highest point of the volcano. In this chamber, the magma accumulates in small holes in the rock.

During an outbreak, which may by the way also occur at lateral points of the volcano, the magma exits the earth’s surface

At the moment in which it will be released it is called is lava, the magma loses its gaseous components and water. This happens due to a pressure relief. Lava can thus be referred to as gas-free magma.

Simplified, inside the volcano you find Magma and once it emerges, it turns into Lava.

Something, however, the two have in common, both are types of liquid fused rock.

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