What is Basaltic Magma?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

Basaltic Magma is commonly produced by the direct melting of the Earth’s mantle, an area of Earth under the outer crust. The mantle of the earth is constantly convecting due to the heat from the planet’s interior. Earth’s mantle can melt in three ways: adding heat, changing its composition, and reducing pressure.

Basaltic Magma Definition and Characteristics

The most common method of producing basaltic magma is depressurizing mantle rocks. Mantle rocks are extremely hot; they don’t melt because they are held under high pressure in the earth.

  • The pressure drops as the rocks rise to the surface, allowing the rocks to start melting. The most volcanically active features on Earth, mid-ocean ridges, are caused by this process.
  • Iron, magnesium, and calcium are abundant in basalt lava, whereas potassium and sodium are scarce. It has a temperature range of roughly 1000 to 1200 °C.
  • Tens of kilometers away from the eruption vent, basalt lava can flow. When they erupt, basalt lavas are comparatively thin and fluid.
  • The mantle starts at 30 to 50 km below the continents’ surface.


What is Basaltic Magma?

Basaltic magma is produced by melting the earth’s mantle directly, an area of Earth under the outer crust. For example, Hawaiian volcanoes are known to produce basaltic magma. Basalt lavas are abundant because they are a product of mantle melting, which makes up most of the Earth’s volume. Also, basaltic lava is rich in minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium.

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