I am so glad you are interested in lava –
because it is the coolest!
I think the first part of understanding why lava
is hot is to think about what lava actually is
– melted rock!
All things have a melting temperature –
that is, the temperature at which a solid material
changes into a liquid. For example, the melting
temperature of ice is 32° Fahrenheit. If ice gets
warmer than 32° F, it changes from a solid (ice
cube) to a liquid (water) – another way to say
that is, it melts! And rocks do the exact same
thing! If they get warm enough (hotter than their
melting temperature) they will change from a solid
(rock) to a liquid (lava). The difference between
melting ice and melting rock is that rock has a
MUCH hotter melting temperature than ice. That
exact melting temperature depends on the type of
rock, but most rocks deep in the Earth (where lava
is formed) melt at temperatures as high as 2,000°
Fahrenheit! So that is why lava is hot –
because it only forms by melting rock at those
really high temperatures.
Then, after the lava is erupted at a volcano, it
is eventually cooled down by the air, and once it
gets cooler than its melting temperature, it turns
back into solid rock.
I hope that answered your question!
Click Here to return to the search form.