Related topics: geologists

Lava ejected during Cumbre Vieja eruption was unusually fluid

The Cumbre Vieja eruption in 2021 was the most protracted and disruptive volcanic eruption in the recent history of the Canary Island of La Palma. More than 1,600 structures, including about 1,300 residential buildings, were ...

Tortoise and her egg found in new Pompeii excavations

Archaeologists in Pompeii have discovered the remains of a pregnant tortoise that had sought refuge in the ruins of a home destroyed by an earthquake in 62 AD, only to be covered by volcanic ash and rock when Mount Vesuvius ...

Ice-capped volcanoes slower to erupt, study finds

The Westdahl Peak volcano in Alaska last erupted in 1992, and continued expansion hints at another eruption soon. Experts previously forecasted the next blast to occur by 2010, but the volcano—located under about 1 kilometer ...

Why can't we predict volcanic eruptions like we do hurricanes?

While the Cumbre Vieja eruption in La Palma, Spain, is said to have cost EUR 843 million, thankfully, only one casualty was reported. While the emergency response is celebrated, the event has sparked questions about how much ...

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Volcano

A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet's surface or crust, which allows hot, molten rock, ash, and gases to escape from below the surface. Volcanic activity involving the extrusion of rock tends to form mountains or features like mountains over a period of time. The word volcano is derived from the name of Vulcano island off Sicily. In turn, it was named after Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.

Volcanoes are generally found where tectonic plates are diverging or converging. A mid-oceanic ridge, for example the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, has examples of volcanoes caused by divergent tectonic plates pulling apart; the Pacific Ring of Fire has examples of volcanoes caused by convergent tectonic plates coming together. By contrast, volcanoes are usually not created where two tectonic plates slide past one another. Volcanoes can also form where there is stretching and thinning of the Earth's crust (called "non-hotspot intraplate volcanism"), such as in the African Rift Valley, the Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field and the Rio Grande Rift in North America and the European Rhine Graben with its Eifel volcanoes.

Volcanoes can be caused by mantle plumes. These so-called hotspots, for example at Hawaii, can occur far from plate boundaries. Hotspot volcanoes are also found elsewhere in the solar system, especially on rocky planets and moons.

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