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Lava flow

Lava flow

E390/0331

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Credit

JEREMY BISHOP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEREMY BISHOP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Lava flow on the slopes of the volcano Mount Etna. Lava is molten rock that is produced by volcanoes as an upwelling of the magma found beneath the Earth's crust. The lava can range in temperature from 475 degrees Celsius (dim red) to 1150 degrees Celsius (white). It can take many different forms, and will have a chemical composition specific to its volcano. Lava flows also vary in their speeds, but are generally viscous and slow-moving. They will slowly solidify to form black volcanic rock. Mount Etna stands 3323 metres tall on the Italian island of Sicily. It is the largest active volcano in Europe.

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