What Is Basic Lava?

Basic lava, also called mafic lava, is a type of lava that consists of 50 percent silica. This type of lava is highly fluid and commonly creates large lava flows. Basic lava can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour and reach distances of 60 miles.

Due to its fluidity, basic lava typically releases volcanic gas before it builds up enough pressure to become explosive. When basic lava solidifies, it creates basalt rock in either tall six-sided columns or billowy masses. Basic lava typically creates dome-shaped volcanoes of low height, with a prominent example being Mauna Loa in Hawaii.