Lava flow rock formations

Lava flow rock formations

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Credit: JEREMY BISHOP/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lava flow rock formations on the volcano Mount Etna. Man looking at crumpled ridges of lava that has recently solidified to form black volcanic rock. The glow of molten rock is still seen behind him. One of the dangers of a lava flow is the collapse of the rocky roof of a lava tube into the molten rock (lava) flowing beneath it. Lava is produced by volcanoes as an upwelling of the magma found beneath the Earth's crust. Lava temperatures range from 500 to over 1000 degrees Celsius. Lava flow speeds vary, but they are generally viscous and slow-moving. Mount Etna stands 3323 metres tall on the Italian island of Sicily. It is the largest active volcano in Europe.

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