What is the difference between andesitic and basaltic lava?

  • Andesitic lava:Andesitic lava has moderate amounts of iron, magnesium, and calcium but is low in potassium and sodium. It ranges in temperature from about 800oC to 1000oC. Andesite magma commonly erupts from stratovolcanoes as thick lava flows, some reaching several km in length.
  • Basaltic: Basaltic lava is high in iron, magnesium, and calcium but low in potassium and sodium. It ranges in temperature from about 1000oC to 1200oC. Basaltic lavas are relatively thin and are very fluid when erupted. Shield volcanoes have basaltic lava. They are the largest of all the volcanoes on the earth. The Hawaiian volcanoes are the most famous examples.

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