Dive Deep Into The Volcanoes


Some openings on the earth’s surface throw molten rocks at approximately 1,250° celsius. Scary, isn’t it? These openings are called volcanoes and their eruptions are called volcanic eruptions. The phenomenon is scary but also very interesting to know. Therefore, through this article, we will open up some interesting information about these angry features of our planet and get you excited enough to visit one someday. But before that know them well as they can be dangerous. So let’s get started.

What are volcanoes?

  • The word volcano comes from ‘Vulcan, the Roman God of fire.
  • They are said to be Earth’s geologic architects as they have laid the foundation of 80% of the planet’s surface on which we live.
  • They are like an opening or a vent on the earth’s surface, formed by continuous shifting and bumping of tectonic plates into one another. However, a volcanic terrain is built by the accumulation of lava over time.
  • Through these vents lava, small rocks and steam erupt when the pressure inside builds up.
  • The vent looks like a small bowl-shaped depression called the volcanic crater at the top of a mountain.

Why does a volcano erupt?

  • About 30 km down your feet, there is a region called the mantle where it is so hot that rocks melt and become a thick flowing substance called magma.
  • The basic reason behind the eruption is the escaping magma.
  • The magma is lighter than the solid rock around it, therefore, it rises towards Earth’s surface by buoyancy and by pressure from gas within it. 
  • Eventually, some magma pushes through vents and comes to the Earth’s surface.

What comes out when a volcano erupts?

  • Magma that comes out of the volcano is rocks that are so hot that they have turned into liquid.
  • The rocks are made of the chemicals oxygen, silicon, aluminium, iron, magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, titanium, and manganese. 
  • Besides the rocks, magma is made up of crystals and dissolved gases.
  • The magma can come out in various ways. Sometimes it just pours from the vent as fluid or it can also shoot violently into the air as dense clouds of rock and gas.
  • The larger fragments fall back around the vent, under the force of gravity. Whereas the ash, tiny pieces of rocks may be carried by the wind many miles away. 
  • Once the magma has erupted what comes out is called lava.

What are active, dominant and dead volcanoes?

According to scientists, the volcanoes can be either active, dormant or even dead. To know how one can specify that read the points below – 

  • An active volcano – has erupted in the last few thousand years.
  • A dormant volcano – has erupted before and has the potential to erupt again but hasn’t erupted recently. 
  • An extinct volcano – is one that probably won’t erupt again. 

What are the types of volcanoes?

Although all volcanoes are made from magma that reaches the surface of the Earth and erupts, there are different kinds. Majorly there are three types of volcanoes explained by scientists. We will learn about each one of them from the points mentioned below – 

  • Cinder Cone – usually small volcanoes that come from short-lived eruptions and make a cone of about 400m high only.
  • Shield volcanoes – very wide with smoothly sloping flanks. The lava flows with low viscosity and up to dozens of kilometres.
  • Stratovolcanoes – eruptions of ash and rock and grow to enormous heights and are made up of different kinds of lava.

Time To Gorge On Some Interesting Facts 

  • Although some volcanoes take years to form some can be born overnight like the Paricutin in Mexican cornfields.
  • There are around 1,500 active volcanoes on Earth, and most of  these volcanoes are part of the “Ring of Fire,” a region that surrounds the Pacific Ocean
  • The European country Italy is believed to have the most active volcanoes, around 14 in total.
  • Mauna Loa in Hawaii is the world’s largest volcano at 13,000 feet above sea level.
  • Somewhere, around the globe, there are possibly 10 to 20 active volcanoes erupting as you read.
  • Scientists measure volcanic eruptions based on the volcano explosivity index, which measures the amount of material that comes out.
  • The volcanic eruptions can send ash up to 30 km into the air and can cause lava flows, hot ash flows, mudslides, avalanches, falling ash and floods.
  • According to experts, the danger area around a volcano covers approximately a 20-mile radius.
  • The volcanic eruptions can cause severe damage to the lungs in oldies, babies and people suffering from respiratory issues. 
  • However, some people willingly build their houses next to volcanoes because the soil in the areas is very rich and fertile.
  • An exploding volcano can cause tsunamis, earthquakes, mudflows, flash floods and rockfalls.
  • The most deadly eruptions occurred in Indonesia, in which tens of thousands of lives were lost to tsunami ash flows and mudflows.

We hope you find this article worth reading and you have some significant takeaways from it. Stay connected with us as we bring more such informative content and help you raise your general knowledge.