[2014] Georgia Bradley: volcanic eruptions

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[2014] Georgia Bradley: volcanic eruptions

Volcanic Eruptions

By Georgia Bradley

Water vapor, the most common gas released by volcanoes, causes few problems. Sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen are released in small amounts. Carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide and hydrogen fluoride are also released but typically less than one percent by volume.Whenever extreme pressure builds in the mantle, along fault lines (openings or cracks in weak spots in the earth’s crust) an eruption is likely to happen next. During an eruption, molten materials (soon to become lava) gush out through spaces in the crust to the surface.

Want to see something really interesting? Take a look at this!

Volcanoes erupt because of density and pressure. The lower density of the magma relative to the surrounding rocks causes it to rise (like air bubbles in syrup). Lava is very hot for two primaray reasons: 1, pressure and radigenic heating make it very hot deep in the Earth (about 100km down) where rocks melt to make magma, and 2, the rock around the magma is a good insulator so the magma doesnt loose much heat on the way to the surface. Many plants are destroyed after an eruption. The good thing is that volcanic soil is very rich, so once everything cools down, plants can make a big comeback. Houses, buildings, roads and fields can get covered with ash. As long as you can get the ash off you home, it may not collapse, but often people leave because of the ash and are not around to continually clean off their roofs. If ashfall is heavy it can make it imposible to breath. There is always the risk, that landscapes and tourist attractions can be destroyed.

Most volcanoes occur near the edges of plates. When plates push together, one plate slides beneath the other. This is a subduction zone. When the lower plate gets deep enough inside the mantle, some of the rock on the overlying plate melts and forms magma that can move upward and erupt at the Earth's surface.

Volcanic eruptions connect people by brining hundreds of people together for the hunt to find missing people. It also brings them together by knowing that there are millions of other people in the same boat as them.

lets see what happens when you take a fast step on lava.

Volcanic eruptions vary in size and explosiveness. Volcanologists take a number of factors into account when they determine how big a volcanic eruption is. Small volcanic eruptions occur more frequently than truly colossal ones, its a good thing they don't happen often! For a large eruption, it takes a long time for gas pressures to build up so that it has enough momentum to explode.


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