Differences Between Magma and Lava

One must understand the difference between Magma and Lava to fully grasp the meanings between one and the other. Magma is composed of molten rock and is stored in the Earth’s crust. Lava is magma that reaches the surface of our planet through a volcano vent. As they are both molten rock that emerges from below the Earth, it can get confusing identifying one from the other.

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What is the Difference Between Magma and Lava?


Lava can be defined as the hot molten rock that gets shot out of the surface of the Earth, this is a semi-solid, burning hot substance that comes out of the Earth’s surface. The temperatures at which the molten lava usually vary, however, they range from 1300 to 2200 degrees. Lava is usually categorized based on a number of different factors such as the viscosity and composition of the lava that spews out. It is important to know the types of volcanoes from which this type of lava may emerge.


Magma, on the other hand, is more of a molten rock that contains volatile substances within it. These substances usually lie below the surface of the Earth itself. Magma usually contains itself within magma chambers. These chambers usually contain a collection of dissolved gases, suspended crystals and gas bubbles. The heat that is produced within Magma may range from a temperature between 1300 and 2400 degrees.

Difference Between Magma and Lava
The molten rock that is present beneath the surface of the earth is termed as Magma. The molten liquid that gets erupted out of the surface of the Earth is termed as Lava. Lava is also referred to as Liquid Magma.
The temperature of Magma is slightly hotter and ranges from 1300-2400 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of Lava is slightly colder and ranges between 1300-2200 degrees Fahrenheit.
The word Magma has its origins from Ancient Greek. The word Lava has its origins from the Italian Language.
Magma takes much longer time in cooling, as it is located underground which leads to the creation of gigantic crystals Lava has the property of cooling much quicker than magma. This leads to lava sometimes crystallizing into a glass

Thus, these were the key difference between Lava and Magma. If you liked this article and would like to read more download the BYJU’S app today!

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  1. Jaskaranpal Singh

    This app is interesting

  2. Uditangshu Mondal

    The best differentiation between Magma and Lava. I just love it.

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