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Difference Between Magma and Lava

Main Difference

The main difference between the Magma and Lava is that Magma is the molten rock that is stored under the surface of the earth, whereas Lava is the magma that comes out of the surface of the earth.

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Magma vs. Lava

The molten rocks that are present under the surface of the earth are known as magma. On the other side, the magma that shoots out of the surface of the earth is recognized as lava. So, the location of the magma is under the surface of the earth. On the other side, the lava flows over the surface of the earth. So, it is also recognized as liquid magma.

The word ‘magma’ is derived from a Greek word meaning ‘thick unguent.’ This word is used for viscous substances such as lubricants or ointments. On the flip side, the word ‘lava’ is obtained from the Latin word ‘labes’ that stands for a fall or slide. Magma has a high temperature, i.e., 1300 to 2400 Degrees Fahrenheit or 720 to 1330 degrees Celsius. On the flip side, lava has a comparatively low temperature, i.e., 1300 and 2200 degrees Fahrenheit or 720 to 1220 Degrees Celsius.

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Moreover, magma takes a longer period of time to cool down. So, it has a longer time to let the crystals grow large. On the other hand, the lava cools down fastly. So, the crystals are unable to grow in lava, and it changes into the glass-like structure. After cooling down, magma changes into rocks known as plutonic rocks, for example, diorite, granite, or gabbro, etc. On the other side, the lava cools down to give rise to volcanic rocks, such as basalt, andesite, or rhyolite, etc.

ComparisonChart

MagmaLava
The molten rocks that are present under the surface of the earth in the form of solid, vaporous substances or crystals is known as magma.The molten rocks or magma that shoots out the surface of the earth is known as lava.
Also Known As
There is no other name for magma.Lava is also recognized as a molten liquid.
Location
The magma is situated beneath the surface of the earth.It flows over the earth’s surface.
Etymology
The word ‘magma’ is derived from a Greek word meaning ‘thick unguent.’The word ‘lava’ is obtained from the Latin word ‘labes’ that stands for a fall or slide.
Temperature
It has a high temperature, i.e., 1300 to 2400 Degrees Fahrenheit or 720 to 1330 degrees Celsius.It has a comparatively low temperature, i.e., 1300 and 2200 degrees Fahrenheit or 720 to 1220 Degrees Celsius.
Cooling Process
It takes a longer period of time to cool down.The lava cools down fastly.
Crystal Formation
It has a longer time to let the crystals grow large.The crystals are unable to grow in lava due to its fast cooling.
Formation of Rocks
It cools down to change into rocks known as plutonic rocks, for example, diorite, granite, or gabbro, etc.It cools down to give rise to volcanic rocks, such as basalt, andesite, or rhyolite, etc.

What is Magma?

The magma is the molten rocks that are present under the surface of the earth in the form of solid, vaporous substances or crystals, etc. It is derived from a Greek word that means ‘thick unguent.’ This word stands for viscous substances, for example, lubricants or ointments, etc. The magma may consist of minerals, suspended crystals, carbon monoxide, water, and other gas bubbles, etc.

Magma is located in the mantle or deep in the surface of the earth, where it forms tens of kilometers. Here the temperature and pressure is high enough to cause the formation of magma. It has a high temperature, i.e., 1300 to 2400 Degrees Fahrenheit or 720 to 1330 degrees Celsius. It is mostly formed in subduction zones, mid-ocean ridges continental rift areas, and hotspots, etc.

Magma forms and accumulates in the regions known as magma chambers. When it is less dense as compared to the encircling rocks, it can move towards the earth’s surface. But, as it moves upward, its temperature keeps on decreasing until it solidifies. It takes place mostly before reaching the surface of the earth. But, if the magma touches the surface of the earth, it can be stored in a chamber near the surface and create a volcano. This volcano shoots out the surface and changes into the lava.

Moreover, the magma takes a longer period of time to cool down. So, it has a longer time to let the crystals grow large. It cools down to change into rocks known as plutonic rocks, for example, diorite, granite, or gabbro, etc.

What is Lava?

The lava is the molten rocks or magma that shoots out the surface of the earth. It is also recognized as a molten liquid. It flows over the surface of the earth. The word ‘lava’ is obtained from the Latin word labes’ that stands for a fall or slide. It is also made up of crystals, volcanic glass, volcanic gasses or bubbles, etc.

There are different types of lava on the basis of its temperature, chemical composition, and other particularities. It has a comparatively low temperature, i.e., 1300 and 2200 degrees Fahrenheit or 720 to 1220 Degrees Celsius. It cools down to give rise to volcanic rocks, such as basalt, andesite, or rhyolite, etc.

Moreover, when the lava cools down, it starts changing into solid, and crystals start to appear in it. The process of crystal formation depends upon the speed of the cooling process. The slower the speed of cooling or the slower it moves towards the surface of the earth, the bigger the crystals form. But, if it shoots out fast and violently, there will be no crystal formation as there is not sufficient time for the matter to crystallize into a specific pattern.

Key Differences

  1. The molten rocks that are present under the surface of the earth in the form of solid, vaporous substances or crystals is known as magma whereas, the molten rocks or magma that shoots out the surface of the earth is known as lava.
  2. The word ‘magma’ is derived from a Greek word meaning ‘thick unguent.’ On the flip side, the word ‘lava’ is obtained from the Latin word ‘labes’ that stands for a fall or slide.
  3. There is no other name for magma. On the other hand, the lava is also recognized as a molten liquid.
  4. The magma is situated under the surface of the earth. Conversely, the lava flows over the surface of the earth.
  5. The magma has a high temperature, i.e., 1300 to 2400 Degrees Fahrenheit or 720 to 1330 degrees Celsius. On the other side, the lava has a comparatively low temperature, i.e., 1300 and 2200 degrees Fahrenheit or 720 to 1220 Degrees Celsius.
  6. The magma takes a longer period of time to cool down while the lava cools down fastly.
  7. Due to the slow cooling process, the magma has a longer time to let the crystals grow large. On the other hand, the crystals are unable to grow in lava due to its fast cooling.
  8. The magma cools down to change into rocks known as plutonic rocks, for example, diorite, granite, or gabbro, etc. On the flip side, the lave cools down to give rise to volcanic rocks, such as basalt, andesite, or rhyolite, etc.

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Conclusion

The above discussion summarizes that the magma is the high-temperature molten rocks present under the surface of the earth. On the other side, the lava is comparatively low-temperature magma after its eruption from the surface of the earth.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson