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lava (läˈvə), molten rock that erupts on the earth's surface, either on land or under the ocean, by a volcano or through a fissure. It solidifies into igneous rock that is also called lava. Before reaching the earth's surface, the mixture of solid and liquid rock, and gases, is known as magma. Lavas are composed chiefly of silica and the oxides of aluminum, iron, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium. Silica, with soda and potash, predominates in the light-colored, acid felsites; iron oxides, lime, and magnesia, in the dark-colored, basic basalts. Rock froth forms on the upper part of a lava flow if bubbles solidify before the gas can escape. Light-colored, glassy froth is pumice; dark, cindery or slaggy froth, of a coarser texture than pumice, forms what is known as scoriae. Lava flows which solidify as a mass of blocks and fragments with a rough surface are called block lava, or aa; those which solidify with a smooth, ropy, billowy surface are known as corded lava, or pahoehoe. Lava can sometimes cover wide regions through great fissures in the earth's surface, as in the ancient Columbia River plateau of the NW United States, where it is spread over 30,000 sq mi (77,700 sq km) and is up to 5,000 ft (1,524 m) deep. Other such regions are found in the Deccan plateau of India, in E Brazil, and in Iceland. Submarine lavas develop through volcanic activity along the mid-oceanic ridges and plate boundaries, where the mid-oceanic ridges produce more lava than any continental eruptions. Such underwater eruptions also harbor rich fauna unique to the vent area, such as red tube worms and giant clams, whose food supply is based on the hydrogen sulfide abundant in the vent waters. Unique features include black smokers, or hot springs of mineral-rich water that belch out from the ocean ridge where it is most active. In many instances the reasons for the heat and liquidity of magma, its exact source, and the causes of its rise in the earth are not clearly known, though the volcanic activity is often related to seafloor spreading. Other volcanic areas also lie along colliding plate boundaries and around hot spots believed to result from a plume of hot magma rising from the core-mantle boundary. See plate tectonics.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Polish Łyna), a river in Kaliningrad Oblast, RSFSR, and in Poland; a left tributary of the Pregolia River. The Lava measures 289 km long and drains an area of 7,130 sq km. It originates from the Masurian Lakes in Poland and is fed by snow, rain, and groundwaters. The mean flow rate at the mouth is 40.4 cu m/sec. The Lava freezes during the winter for a period of two to three months. It is navigable in its lower course and is linked with Lake Mamry by the Masurian Canal. The city of Pravdinsk is located on the river.



liquid-molten, primarily silicate material that issues out onto the earth’s surface during volcanic eruptions. It differs from magma by the absence of gases, which escape into the air during the eruption.

Different effusive rocks form from the lava depending on its composition during solidification. Acidic, silica-rich rhyolitic lavas are viscous and usually relatively cool; as a rule, they form domes and, more rarely, spread in the form of lava flows; eruptions are accompanied by a large quantity of ejecta which, together with sedimentary material, is deposited in the form of various tuffs. Medium-composition (andesite) and basic (basaltic) lavas are more mobile and, near the vent, where their temperature is sufficiently high (up to 1000o-1200°C), may flow as fast as 30 km/hr. In cooling gradually the lava becomes viscous and the rate of flow decreases to a few meters an hour. Lava sometimes issues from the central crater, but more often it issues from the lateral lava fissures (bocca) and flows along depressed parts of the relief in the form of lava flows. When there are large eruptions, lava fills up all depressions and spreads over the surface, forming lava sheets; in such cases “mountain plains,” or lava plateaus, often occur.




a battle formation and tactical procedure used by the cossack hosts and, with the institution of the 1912 Cavalry Regulations, in all the Russian cavalry.

The troop lava consisted of a forward part (one to four platoons) and a support (at least one platoon) or a guide (one squad). The forward part operated in different orders (primarily a single rank). Among its missions, the lava formation was used for scouting the terrain and enemy forces, disorganizing closed enemy battle formations before a mass cavalry attack, covering a maneuver by friendly troops, and pursuing the enemy.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about lava?

Dreaming about lava can reflect a number of different conditions, from a fever to overheated sexuality or emotions. Something from our past that erupts to the surface.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


Molten extrusive material that reaches the earth's surface through volcanic vents and fissures.
The rock mass formed by consolidation of molten rock issuing from volcanic vents and fissures, consisting chiefly of magnesium silicate; used for insulators.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. magma emanating from volcanoes and other vents
2. any extrusive igneous rock formed by the cooling and solidification of molten lava
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A language for VLSI that deals with "sticks", i.e. wires represented as lines with thickness.

["A Target Language for Silicon Compilers", R.J. Matthews et al, IEEE COMPCON, 1982, pp. 349-353].
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
References in periodicals archive ?
These features, which Evans and colleagues call QuasiCircular Mass Anomalies (QCMA), occur within and near maria, and are interpreted as being due to craters that formed on an earlier surface of an impact basin that mare lavas later completely inundated.
That produced a type of rock called komatiite, which are "basically superhot versions of Hawaiian-style lava flows," study leader and Virginia Tech professor Esteban Gazel said.
Typically, lavas contain high levels of silica, which increases their melting point to above 900 degree Celsius.
Also, the simulations show that zones of plume material that have distinct chemical compositions can remain intact during their long, slow journey to Earth's surface--a finding bolstered by recent analyses of lavas that have erupted from Hawaiian volcanoes during the past 3 million years.
Tot Mountain unit lavas fall into four compositional groups which also signify different eruptive events.
Lava flows consist of molten rock with dissolved and boiling gases.
For magnetic anomaly data to provide independent estimates of flow thickness, crustal magnetization over the old and new lavas must be determined by representative rock sampling.
Deep lunar maria didn't form from a single giant eruption but are the result of thousands of separate lava flows occurring over a time interval perhaps as long as a billion years.
Samples of lava that erupted onto the ocean floor almost 3.5 billion years ago contain microscopic tubes that may have been created by microbes, researchers say.
Head used Orientale as a starting point to model how lavas fill a basin.
In the dim reaches of the solar system, a rocky orb sizzles with volcanic hot spots and boiling lakes of lava. It belches sulfurous plumes hundreds of times taller than the World Trade Center.