ADAM G. SYLVESTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ADAM G. SYLVESTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lava fountains. Time-exposure photograph of fount- ains of orange lava spurting out of a volcano during an eruption at night. In the lower frame are two flows of lava. Lava is molten rock which reaches the Earth's surface through faults in the crust. Lava is known as magma before it reaches the surface. Lava fountains are caused when the magma contains volatile chemicals that form bubb- les of gas. The rock beneath the crust is molten because of heat generated by radioactive decay and by friction between the Earth's plates as they move. Photograph of a lava flow from the La Fournaise volcano on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. This volcano is 2631 metres high.
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