UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
Home
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Webcasts
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
What does it happen after the magma is formed?
Answer 1:

Magma or liquid rock is less dense than the solid that melts to form it. Consequently like a balloon filled with hot air (relative to the surrounding cooler air) the magma is buoyant ...it tends to move upwards in the gravitational field of the Earth.

As it moves upwards magma cools because heat is transferred from the hot magma to the cooler solid rock surroundings and also because the magma expands as it decompresses. If it losses enough heat it can actually freeze at depth. But if magma moves quickly enough it will not lose sufficient heat to crystallize (freeze), and exploiting or creating cracks and fractures, it can ascend and erupt upon the Earth's surface.



Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2015 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use