Volcano Facts

Mount St Helens, Volcanic Eruption

The term volcano originated from the name Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. A volcano forms if there is a rupture or natural happening opening in the Earth’s crust that enables melted rock called magma, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from below the surface.

Many individuals think of conical mountains with lava flowing down its sides when the term volcano comes to mind. However, this is only one of several kinds of volcanoes that exist. Composite or strato volcanoes form between alternating layers of lava and stone fragments and they form into various kinds of shapes including big conical, concave, pyramidal, convex-concave, helmet-shaped, collapsed, nested, elongated, and even a few with multiple summits.

Shield volcanoes consist almost entirely of lava flow. Broad flat layers of lava form sheets that cool down, with subsequent eruptions accumulating additional sheets over ones previously made. These kinds of volcanoes are large in area but have a low profile, which looks like a warrior’s shield.

A complex or compound volcano is a volcano with more than one feature. This kind of volcano is the least predictive as it might change the way it erupts or its consistency. It may have more than one vent with every vent erupting differently.

Some volcanoes form under glaciers while other volcanoes develop well under the surface of the ocean. A submarine volcano is one that begins beneath the surface of a body of water, typically in an ocean. When submarine volcano builds substantially such that it projects above the sea’s surface, it creates an island or a small chain of islands, like the Hawaiian Islands.

There is a major set of active submarine volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean known as the Ring of Fire. Its’ horseshoe-shaped ring extends to about 25,000 miles. It consists of more than 450 active and dormant volcanoes, which represents over 75 percent of the planet’s volcanoes.

While many folks associate harm and destruction when they think of volcanoes, there are also some benefits of volcanoes which people have learned to capitalize on. One of the chief advantages of a volcano is its rich volcanic soil. Rain naturally weathers and breaks down volcanic tephra, which comprises powerful nutrients in the ash and is beneficial to plant growth.

Submarine volcanoes form habitable islands in a variety of places with unique characteristics.

There are certain gems and building materials that just come from the residue left by volcanoes. Gemstones produced include opals and obsidian. Tuff is a hardened volcanic ash that is a lightweight durable material used in concrete.

Regions of volcanoes produce large quantities of geothermal energy, such as areas including Iceland and Costa Rica. The thermal energy is usable to produce energy and natural spas. Geothermal energy is environmentally friendly and cost-effective to produce.

The Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica is a beautiful and marvelous natural wonder to see. Located in the northern lowlands and is tall, loud, and flashy. It is one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world since it emits ash and lava on a regular basis. This large symmetrical volcano stands 5,437 feet that formed from multiple layers of lava, rock, and ash. After 400 years of dormancy, the Arenal Volcano became active and normal beginning in 1968.

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