Lesson at a glance: Students will use hand samples and photographs to learn the types of lava. They will also learn the factors that determine which type of lava is formed.

Key Concepts: Pillow lava, pahoehoe, and aa are the three types of lava. Pillow lava forms in a subaqueous environment and is volumetrically the most abundant type of lava. Pahoehoe and aa are erupted subaerially. Viscosity and shear strain govern whether pahoehoe or aa is formed. Low viscosity and low shear strain favor the production of pahoehoe. High viscosity and high shear strain produce aa.

Lesson Outcomes: The students will:

  1. Classify types of lava.

  2. Describe the factors that influence the type of lava that forms.

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