How Volcanoes Work

There are different natural disasters that take place time after time Some of these are hurricanes and earthquakes, which appear to be very devastating natural disasters. However, volcanoes may have a wider-ranging impact compared to them.

A Volcanoes happens to be a rupture on a planetary mass object’s crust, which make it possible for hot lava, gasses, and volcanic ash to leak from the magma chamber underneath the surface.

How Volcanoes WorkPlate Tectonics- The volcanoes of the earth have quite an amazing science behind them. They happen because the crust of the earth is broken into seventeen key, rigid tectonic plates, which float on some hotter, softer layer within the earth’s mantle. Consequently, volcanoes on earth occur mainly where the tectonic plates are converging or diverging. For instance, volcanoes at the pacific ring of fire happen due to convergent tectonic plates that are coming together. Volcanoes at a mid-oceanic ridge, for instance, the Mid-Atlantic ridge occur due to divergent tectonic plates that are pulling together.

Hot spots- They can as well form where there is thinning and stretching of the interior plates of the crust. Good examples include the Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field, the E. African Rift, and the North America’s Rio Grande Rift. This is a type of volcanism categorized under plate hypothesis volcanism. Volcanism far from plate borders has as well been described as mantle plumes. Hot spots like Hawaii are assumed to rise from outpouring diapirs with magma, from the core-mantle edge, three thousand kilometers deep within the earth. Note that volcanoes are not usually created where 2 tectonic plates slide past each other.

Dangers of Volcanoes

There are various volcanic eruption types such as phreatic eruptions, high silica lava explosive eruptions, low-silica lava effusive eruption, and carbon dioxide emission among others. Such activities pose hazards to humans. In addition, hot springs, earthquakes, mud pots, fumaroles, and geysers, mostly accompany volcanoes.

Erupting volcanoes may pose various dangers even outside the immediate eruption vicinity. Volcanic ash may be a threat to aircraft, particularly those with jet engines. Here, high operating temperatures melt ash particles, which follow the urban blades altering their shape, disrupting their operation. Huge eruptions may affect temperatures as sulfuric acid’s droplets and ash obscure the sun and cool the lower atmosphere of the earth (the troposphere). On the other hand, they as well absorb the earth’s up radiated heat warming its upper atmosphere (stratosphere). Volcanic winters are known to cause catastrophic famines.

Curious about the types of volcanoes

Volcanoes are huge conical mountains that explode and spew out the masses of lava all over causing a massive destruction of living and nonliving environment. People are really curious about the types of this disastrous natural event. In terms of activity, volcanoes can be divided into basic 3 categories.

1) Still active volcano: This one is still erupting out the hot lava from the huge crater.

2) Dormant volcano: This is temporarily inactive but not fully extinct

3) Extinct volcano: It is never likely to erupt again. Besides this general classification, there are further four types of volcanoes according to the shape and formation.

They are briefly described below.

Cinder Cones:

These are the simplest type of volcanoes formed by the eruption of thin, runny lava. The gas-charged lava is violently blown into the air and it breaks into fragments and solidifies causing cinder to fall around vent forming an oval or a circular cone. They have craters of a bowl shape and rise up to 1 thousand feet or above their surrounding. Eruptions tend to be frequent but relatively gentle. The numerous cinder cones are found at western north America.

Composite Volcanoes or Stator-Volcanoes:

These are steep-sided, symmetrical cones. They rise above eight thousand feet from their surroundings. They are generally formed from alternating layers of larva flow, volcanic ash, and cinder. An essential component of composite volcanoes is the conduit system through which the magma from the innermost part of the earth comes to the surface. Most of the beautiful mountains in the world like Mt. Fuji in Japan, Mt. Shasta in California, Mt. Rainier in Washington and many other are composite volcanoes.

Shield Volcanoes:

They are almost formed by the slow accretion of highly fluid lava called Basalt Lava. The flow of lava when cools it builds a broad, gentle slope cone of flat and dome shape. Lave erupts from vents along flanks of the cone. Some of the largest volcanoes like Mauna loa volcano in Hawaii, are shield volcano. This volcano projects 13,677 feet above sea level.

Lava Domes:

They are formed by small, viscous flow of lava that cools and piles up. They expand within and grows larger. They occur within crater or on flanks of large composite volcanoes. Mont Pelee in Martinique, Mono dome in California are examples of lava domes. Hence according to the term of activity, there are 3 and as per the shape and formation, there are 4 types of volcanoes in the world.