Volcano Facts – What Is a Volcano?
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What is a volcano? A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planets surface or crust, which allows hot magma, volcanic ash and gases to escape from below the surface. Volcanic eruptions are among the Earths most powerful and destructive forces. Eruptions occur due to the high level of heat deep within the Earth. It becomes so hot that some of the rocks slowly melt and becomes magma which is a thick flowing substance. Due to the fact that it weighs less than the solid rock around it the magma rises and collects in magma chambers which is a large underground pool of molten rock found beneath the Earths surface. Eventually some of the magma pushes through vents and fissures in the Earths surface and an eruption occurs. The magma that has erupted out of the volcano is called lava. There are many volcanic hazards including gases, lava, pyroclastic flow, landslides, earthquakes, and explosive eruptions. However some eruptions are explosive while others may not be. The explosiveness of the eruption depends on how runny or sticky the magma is. Less aggressive eruptions happen when the magma is runny and thin. The gases can easily escape from it causing the lava to flow out of the volcano, while the volcano explodes violently if the magma is thick and sticky due to the fact that the gases have a difficult time escaping. Therefore the pressure builds up and the volcano explodes violently. People are harmed more often when the magma is thick and sticky versus when it is thin and runny. Explosions occurring from the thin and runny magma cause more harm to buildings rather than people because of the fact that the lava is flowing at a pace that the people can get out of the way of the lava in time. Whereas the violent explosions pose more of a threat because they produce what is called tephra or the pieces that break apart when the magma blasts into the air. The size of tephra can range from tiny particles of ash to boulders the size of a house. This is very harmful and deadly because the volcanoes can shoot out a cloud blast full of tephra that explodes from either the top or the side of the volcano. It is bad enough that these fiery clouds race down destroying everything in its way but on top of that it produces an ash that can cover the earth like a blanket of snow and suffocate everything that it may land on because the ash is so thick. Another scary and very harmful event occurs when the materials from the volcano mix with water can make a deadly mudflow. These are known to be the deadliest as they gather rocks in them and travel at speeds up to twenty(20) to forty(40) miles per hour and can travel more than fifty(50) miles. These are called lahars. The water that creates lahars can come from melting snow and ice, heavy rainfall or the break out from a summit crater lake. Large lahars are a potential hazard to many communities downstream from glacier-clad volcanoes such as Mt. Rainier in Washington, DC.

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Hot Magma And Volcano Facts. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/hot-magma-and-volcano-facts-essay/