What is lava made of?
Lava is made up of crystals, volcanic glass, and bubbles (volcanic gases). As magma gets closer to the surface and cools, it begins to crystallize minerals like olivine and form bubbles of volcanic gases. When lava erupts it is made up of a slush of crystals, liquid, and bubbles. The liquid "freezes" to form volcanic glass.
Chemically lava is made of the elements silicon, oxygen, aluminum, iron, magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and titanium (plus other elements in very small concentrations. Have a look at the background information in Minerals, Magma, and Volcanic Rocks.
Most rocks are made of the following elements:
|Element (Symbol)||Weight percent|
The amount of these different elements in a rock can be determined experimentally.
However, different types of lava have different chemical compositions.
Source of Information:
LeMaitre, R.W., 1976, The chemical variability of some common igneous rocks: Journal of Petrology, v. 17.