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Lava flow on Piton de la Fournaise volcano

Lava flow on Piton de la Fournaise volcano

E390/0176

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Credit

ADAM G. SYLVESTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ADAM G. SYLVESTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Lava flow. Orange lava (molten rock) flowing down the side of a volcano. In the background is the top of a bank of clouds which is at a lower altitude than the lava flow. As the flow's surface cools, some of the lava is solidifying into black rocks. Lava reaches the Earth's surface through faults in the crust. Lava is known as magma before it reaches the surface. 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 about 2631 metres high.

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