Volcano and lava experts: I need your input

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I’d like to add my two cents. Don’t forget about geysers and hot springs. Even if a volcano hasn’t erupted in a millions of years it can still be considered active. For example Yellowstone National Park is sitting right on top of one heck of a mega volcano that is still considered active. And what is the most famous feature at the park? Ol’ Faithful geyser. (you can google Yellowstone Caldera) Don’t forget that the geysers in Yellowstone are hot enough and acidic enough to kill a man. However, the hot springs in Japan are famous for being the perfect temp for soaking.
Now the flow of the lava has a lot to do with tectonic plates as well. If you have plates pushing against each other -><- you will get a land mass, mountain, from all the pushing. (this will also result in earthquakes and is called Convergent boundaries) the lava pushes up between these two plates and that’s a mountain volcano. There is a reason why volcanic mountains are usually along fault lines.
There are two more types the kind that slide,(Transform boundaries like the San Andreas Fault in Cali) the kind that pull away.(Divergent boundaries most of these are under water, I think the only one on land is in Africa) Each one of these different plate movements causes different kinds of tectonic activity.
When a volcano erupts you are most like going to get earthquake activity as well. OR you can get earthquake activity near a volcano w/o eruption. If this is happening under water you will get Tsunamis.
If you want to look into this more I suggest googling things like ring of fire, the tectonic plate theory, and different volcano types and where they lay along the ring of fire.

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I like the idea of a vulcano planet. But I agree that life as we know it wouldn’t survive well on there. Actually, very little life probably could, lacking high enough levels of oxygen. But some critters can survive deep down in the ocean at small volcanos, it is warm there, warmer then the super cold and there are nutrients certain critters are able to handle.
But don’t expect that what lives there to be big though.

So, a vulcano world, aka a super heated world, would hold little life. BUT! A world that is cooling down that gets its first water, much like our planet… where the first life might spring. It still should be small though. it takes a long time to make big intelligent life like us show up.

So for a story with a vulcano world I would say that you might have a research station on a planet like that. Something small… you can’t really grow food and you need a lot of external supplies so. Very small!

Factory/Mining wise it is to unstable. Though vulcano’s are a great way to move precious metals and gemstones to the top.

Sulfur. Trust me, it can be pretty nasty.

Overwhelmingly hot. And it might actually rain more than usual (look up cloud seeding and condensation nuclei), but I imagine the drops would evaporate before they hit the ground.

Not really, unfortunately, though it would depend on how much of the ground was actively volcanic and how much was solidified lava : P Volcanic activity emits massive amounts of carbon dioxide and sulfuric gases of various types, all of which can kill you in some way or another.

Air temperature will not have much of an effect on this. However, lava cools from the outside in, so you can ‘safely’ walk on it in about an hour. It might take months to cool down completely.

Worse. It’s as hot as fire, and would melt your skin to itself.

Depends. Grey if there are lots of explosive eruptions (not likely, as lava plains tend to be basaltic flows, which just kind of leak), green otherwise. Sulfur interacts with light in fun ways.


I’ll answer this one too :slight_smile: No, the lava would not brighten the sky. Lava skins over very quickly, so unless it is fresh or moving, you won’t see it glowing. While heat-wise your world would be okay, it would be pitch-black or at least very dim without a sun.

@DomiSotto You’re thinking of eruptive volcanoes. Lava plains come from basaltic eruptions, which eject little to no ash. Smoke from things they burn would likely not reach the upper atmosphere in quantities large enough to shade the whole planet. An atmosphere on such a planet would be surprisingly clear, if perhaps oddly coloured and rather toxic.

I saw the word “dim” and “sun” and saw “dim-sum” XD

Yes, my world is dark. Pitch black but since it is fantasy I have a bright large red sun just hovering over the horizon without ever setting. It’s not a sun, it’s a gas ball but anyway, my characters called it a sun but it probably gives very little light :stuck_out_tongue:

As for the lava rivers, they are always moving, always flowing. And also, there are these patches of fire burning everywhere.

So I did do some research on the air of a volcanic area and it seems like the air would be toxic mostly because there are lots of small glass particles that will damage your lungs if you inhale it. But this is from the ash from a volcano.

Question: Can fire burn with lava nearby?

Yes, provided it has something to burn. I imagine it would run out of fuel pretty quickly though.
On second thought, if the lava is fresh, there might be too much carbon dioxide in the air to sustain fire…

This is getting more and more intriguing…

Hypothesizing that you can breath in a lava land, I wonder if you can have a barbecue?

I think your food would be burned. I mean Lava is HOT. There are youtube vids of people putting stuff in lava to see what happens. The burst into flames is what happens. POOF. Sometimes it charcoals up instantly. They are actually interesting. You should watch them.
If you are going to cook food I’d go with the boiling method. You can’t place anything directly over lava and cook it. However, you may be able to get around this if it was indirect heat. There is lava at the bottom of a very deep pit. You set up a spit over this pit and are able to cook from the residual heat.

It would be the world’s fastest barbecue/cookout, though if you were the master of seared shrimp, sauteed onions and other such rapid productions, you could host hundreds of guests!

Might even be able to cook things fast enough to keep out the sulfur flavour :slight_smile:

I imagine you would need something between the lava and the food though, to keep them from sticking together. A heavy-duty cooking oil kind of thing.

Hmm, that sounds interesting. I’ll check out those vids :slight_smile:

So, my characters will NOT be walking around lava land (not lala land) thank goodness. All this talk about lava reminds me of that Star Wars scene where Darth Vader becomes Darth Vader (I forgot what his name was before). He climbs out of a pit of lava.

I also recently watched Gone Girl…apparently, blood doesn’t burn in fire? :open_mouth: I wonder if that’s the same with lava…

I suppose it’s wrong to assume that fire and lava are similar.

They just need a special red tunic and they’ll be fine x:

If you want to build from reality, I’d hunt for nature documentaries about things that live near volcanoes and deep-sea thermal vents. David Attenborough is bound to have done a few. But I’d never say ~nothing can live there~ about any place (especially not in fantasy), because chances are some real world creature already does out of spite. (Like aerobic bacteria) Or look up mythological creatures associated with fire/volcanoes and connect your folk to them. Things like fire salamanders, phoenixes, dragons, demons/gargoyles/orcs/goblins, etc.

And for cooking you could go for digging a hole in a semi-fresh bit of cooled lava and bury the thing in the hotspots. Indigenous Australians do something similar, setting up a fire then burying food with super hot coals.

My parents have been watching David Attenborough like nuts the past few months XD

Fire salamanders :0 That’s a thing?

I actually already have a species that lives there and is not harmed because they’re made of shadow mass and need to destroy to survive.

The cooking using lava was a tangent question :stuck_out_tongue: Just curious but I might be able to use that in another story somewhere…hmm…

The big thing I guess was to see how breathable or non-breathable the air would be for like say, a human. And how hot the air would be and if they might suffocate or not. I found an article in Forbes about what happens if you breathe vog (volcanic fog). I think I can say, it’s not pretty.

They get associated with fantasy alchemists a lot for fire-repellentness (real ones aren’t so fire resistant)

Could you share that article btw? o: I’m dealing with a volcanic landscape too so I’d like to have a squizz. Though I’m going off cooled lava like iceland/greenland/volcanic islands/mordor

Hi, I love Geography and I have been studying a bit about volcanoes this year but I see that this thread is a week old? But if you still have questions (I can’t promise that I know the answer to all lol), drop a p.m.!

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Here are two articles that I found helpful in understanding what can happen to you if you’re in a volcanic place.

This one which is the Forbes article.
That one which is more on the medical symptoms of breathing in vog. It’s not pretty :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, it started on the old forums.

Thanks, if I need anything, I’ll Pm you :wink:

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