Viscosity is a measure of how thick or thin a liquid is. Volcano lava is usually much thicker than regular water and has higher viscosity. Scientists measure viscosity to better understand the behavior of volcanoes.
Viscosity of Volcanos
Lava Viscosity: The measure of a lava’s resistance to flow, based on its thickness and the temperature of the lava. Viscous Lava: A type of lava that flows slowly because it is very thick. Non-Viscous Lava: A type of lava that flows quickly because it is very thin.
The viscosity of lava from volcanoes can range from that of water to that of peanut butter! The viscosity of lava can depend on the type of magma that is erupting from the volcano. Volcanoes can produce huge clouds of ash and gas with viscosity so thick that it can prevent airplanes from flying nearby!
Did you know?
What is the measure of a volcano's resistance to flow?
Work together in pairs: Q: What is the viscosity of magma found in most volcanoes?
How does the viscosity of magma affect the eruption style of a volcano?
Work together in pairs: What is an example of a volcano that has a high viscosity?
Brain break: Draw a banana with legs and arms doing a silly dance
Which factor affects the viscosity of volcanic lava?
What is the term used to describe lava with low viscosity?
Which type of volcano typically has more viscous lava?
- Shield volcano
- Cinder cone
What is the unit of measurement for viscosity?
- Meters per second (m/s)
- Kelvin (K)
- Pascal-seconds (Pa·s)
How does high viscosity lava behave during eruptions?
- It flows slowly and accumulates around the vent, causing explosive eruptions.
- It solidifies before reaching the surface, resulting in no eruption.
- It flows quickly and spreads over large areas, causing effusive eruptions.