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This is an image of flowing lava.
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S. Rowland/LPI

Flowing Lava

Lava can move in two ways, wide flat lava flows, or through channels which squeeze the lava into a small area. The fastest lava flows move at about 6 mi/hr, an easy jog, but they average between 2/3 and 1/3 mi/hr.

Lava in channels can move very quickly. It can typically move up to 23 mi/hr (a sprinter's top speed), but have moved at up to 35mi/hr, faster than any person can run!

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Europa Ice Flows

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Volcanic Ash

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Cinder Cones

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Flowing Lava

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How Do Plates Move?

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Magma Chamber

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA