Learn How Volcanoes Work

How do Volcanoes Work? 

Extremely (over)Simplified Explanation of How Volcanoes Work

Volcanoes form when hot magma comes up from the mantle, punctures the earth, and forms eruptions.

This explanation more or less just describes what a volcano is in most basic form, but does not do much to describe differences between volcanoes, how they behave, and why they behave in such a manner. Furthermore, the mantle being “hot” is not a primary reason for why a volcano forms. If this were the case, we would have volcanoes all over the world.

Learn About Volcanoes at Big Volcanic

Use the pages below to explore various topics about volcanoes, and expand your knowledge of how volcanoes function and work.

Learn what causes volcanoes to form

Learn what causes magma to rise

Learn about the various types of volcanic rock

Learn about how water affects volcanoes

Over time, I will try to fill out answers to all the questions posed below 

When initially learning about volcanoes, one might ask the following  basic questions:

  • Why are some volcanoes enormous, and others extremely small?
  • Why do some volcanoes erupt explosively, while others leak magma effusively?
  • Why do some volcanoes wait thousands of years between eruptions, while others erupt almost constantly?
  • Why don’t volcanoes occur everywhere? What causes them to appear where they do.

After learning a bit about volcanoes, one my start to ask the following more complex questions:

  • Why do some volcanoes have eruptions that shift between explosive and effusive phases?
  • How do we predict volcanic eruptions? What signals do we use to monitor volcanoes?
  • What types of volcanoes pose the biggest risk for problems?
  • Is there any way to prevent or mitigate the destruction caused by a volcanic eruption?
  • What factors influence how volcanoes form and erupt?
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