Molten rock that comes out of the ground during volcanic eruptions is called "lava". The molten rock beneath the ground from which the lava is drawn is called "magma".

Fountains and cascades during the Alae mezzanine eruption. Lava fountains form a curtain of fire, and lava from the fountains cascades down into the crater below, on February 22, 1969. Alae was an active lava lake near Mauna Ulu during the series of eruptions there. Photo credit: D.A. Swanson, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, U.S. Geological SurveyPhoto by D. A. Swanson, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, U. S. Geological Survey

© David J. Leveson, 2001