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Once magma has come to the surface in a volcanic eruption, it is called lava. If the lava is very viscous than a volcano eruption is often explosive. This creates a stratovolcano. With very thin lava, a volcanic eruption often quite peacefull. Because the thin lava can flow out quickly, usually forms a shield volcano. The cause of the differences in the viscosity, is the chemical composition of the lava. Lava is a type of volcanic rock.

Lava rock from Iceland. The ripples in the already solidifying lava can still be seen. Photo: Erwin Duys

Lava rock from the Etna volcano, Italy. Photo: Erwin Duys


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