ADAM G. SYLVESTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ADAM G. SYLVESTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lava folds. Black, folded formations of rock left by the cooling of lava (molten rock). Lava reaches the Earth's surface through faults in the crust, and is forced through them by the high pressure within the Earth. Lava is known as magma before it reaches the surface. The rock beneath the crust is molten because of heat generated by radioactive decay, by friction between the Earth's plates as they move, and by chemical changes. Photograph of a cooled 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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