TONIGHT ONLY: Lava and the Creation of Continents


TONIGHT ONLY: Lava and the Creation of Continents

Lecture by Scott Aby

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

6:30 – 8:30 pm
at Historic Los Luceros, Alcalde, NM

Suggested donation – $10

All the geology we can easily see is on land, but the early Earth had no continents or oceans. We think it was just an incandescent, homogeneous mass created by the collision of asteroids and comets. How did the continents originate? Were they created suddenly during some specific time in Earth’s history? Did they grow gradually? How can we even begin to know this kind of thing? Why are the continents sitting up higher than the oceans? And perhaps most importantly, how is Earth like a big pot of spaghetti sauce?
Lava is molten rock that makes it to the surface of Earth. Magma is molten rock under Earth. How are the two related and how does magma turn into lava? Different types of lava act differently once they are at the surface because there is more than one type of magma. Different types of rock get melted at different places beneath the surface. One type of relatively non-explosive lava has formed the single largest mountain on Earth. One of the most explosive types of lava has created a relatively flat area full of geysers and hot springs. Find out what makes these lavas act so differently. Extra credit for those who bring a local rock they think is a type of lava–or any rock they have questions about.