Landforms

A:

Volcanoes form landforms when the lava that flows out of the peak solidifies into rock. Magma is molten rock from the Earth's mantle pushed up by the action of plate tectonics. When the magma flows or explodes out of the top of the volcano, it is called lava. Over geological timescales, this lava keeps piling on top of successive strata of cooled rock, making several different kinds of landforms.

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  • How Do Mountains Affect Climate?

    Q: How Do Mountains Affect Climate?

    A: Mountains affect climate by blocking wind and receiving more rainfall than low-lying areas. As air is forced over higher ground, it cools, causing moisture to condense and fall as rain. The higher a location is above sea level, the colder it is. This occurs because as altitude increases, the surround airing becomes thinner and less effective at absorbing and retaining heat.
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  • What Makes a Continent?

    Q: What Makes a Continent?

    A: A continent is a large land mass on Earth that is distinguished by a separation from other land by water or by a distinct cultural difference. Earth has a total of seven continents: North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica.
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  • How Do Landforms Affect Climate?

    Q: How Do Landforms Affect Climate?

    A: Landforms affect climate by altering the wind and rate of evaporation, which can cause changes in the temperature, humidity and precipitation of a region. When storm fronts run into landforms, such as mountains or high plateaus, rain clouds are sometimes blocked. This causes the upwind side of the landform to receive plentiful rainfall, while the downwind side of the structure remains dry.
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  • Why Are Deserts so Dry?

    Q: Why Are Deserts so Dry?

    A: Deserts are dry because the air above them is lacking moisture. This is caused by rain shadows, moisture sources being too far away, cold ocean currents nearby or the Earth's circulation patterns.
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  • How Do Geysers Form?

    Q: How Do Geysers Form?

    A: A geyser is essentially an underground hot spring that, owing to pressure exerted against its constricted plumbing toward the surface of the ground, issues a stream of steam and boiling water from time to time. The term "geyser" is derived from the Icelandic word "geysir," which means to rush forth. A geyser stops erupting once its reservoir is empty, or the water below the surface cools.
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  • When Was the Last Time Mount Vesuvius Erupted?

    Q: When Was the Last Time Mount Vesuvius Erupted?

    A: Mount Vesuvius' last eruption was in March of 1944. The eruption destroyed the villages of San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, Massa di Somma, Ottaviano, and part of San Giorgio a Cremano.
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  • How Old Is Mount Vesuvius?

    Q: How Old Is Mount Vesuvius?

    A: Mount Vesuvius is approximately 17,000 years old. It formed upon the site of a previous volcano. Vesuvius has a long history of eruptions, beginning with the first known eruption in 5960 B.C.
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  • What Are Some Facts About Coastal Plains?

    Q: What Are Some Facts About Coastal Plains?

    A: Coastal plains are flat, low-lying pieces of land that feature a body of water on one side and some type of landform on the other. According to National Geographic, a coastal plain can form either as a continental shelf or when water currents carry sedimentary materials that build up over time.
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  • What Is the World's Largest Peninsula?

    Q: What Is the World's Largest Peninsula?

    A: The world's largest peninsula is the Arabian Peninsula. The Arabian Peninsula is located in Southwest Asia and contains the countries of Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
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  • What State Is Mount McKinley In?

    Q: What State Is Mount McKinley In?

    A: Mount McKinley is the tallest mountain in North America, and it is located in Alaska. It is found in the Denali National Park and Reserve, which is approximately 6 million acres of wild land.
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  • What Do the Pampas, Prairies, Steppes and the Highveld Have in Common?

    Q: What Do the Pampas, Prairies, Steppes and the Highveld Have in Common?

    A: The Highveld, the Pampas, steppes and prairies are all grasslands, which are biomes dominated by grasses, flowers and herbs. Savannas and the Llanos region of northern South America are also grasslands.
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  • Where Are Fjords Found?

    Q: Where Are Fjords Found?

    A: According to Geology professor Atle Nesje of Bergen University, fjords occur where there was glacial activity below where the sea level is as of modern times. Fjords.com notes that Norway and Canada are home to fjords and fjord lakes.
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  • What Are the Three Types of Plateaus?

    Q: What Are the Three Types of Plateaus?

    A: The three types of plateaus are dissected, volcanic and oceanic plateaus. A plateau is described as a raised landform that extends above the surrounding area on at least one of the plateau's sides. Plateaus are found on every continent and make up 30 percent of the land on Earth.
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  • How Did the Grand Canyon Form?

    Q: How Did the Grand Canyon Form?

    A: The Grand Canyon was formed primarily by erosion from the constant water flow of the Colorado River. This erosion occurred gradually over the past 5 to 6 million years.
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  • What Are the Windward and Leeward Sides of a Mountain?

    Q: What Are the Windward and Leeward Sides of a Mountain?

    A: The windward side of a mountain faces the wind while the leeward side faces away from the prevailing wind. The climate on different sides of the mountain can vary greatly.
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  • What Is a Billabong?

    Q: What Is a Billabong?

    A: A billabong is essentially a large pond or creek that at one time extended from a river. A billabong is the cut off extension of a river that changed its course over time. During a wet season, the billabong often connects back with the river, receiving fresh water, at least until the area dries back up.
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  • How Did Oceans Form?

    Q: How Did Oceans Form?

    A: Nearly 3.8 billion years ago, temperatures on Earth cooled below 100 degrees Celsius for the first time, allowing water, which existed on the planet in gaseous form, to condense into rain and collect on the planet's surface, according to the American Museum of Natural History. This water collected in low-lying areas, eventually becoming a primitive ocean.
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  • What Are Examples of Peninsulas?

    Q: What Are Examples of Peninsulas?

    A: Peninsulas are found all around the world; in the United States, two prominent examples are the Upper Peninsula in Michigan and the Delmarva Peninsula in Maryland. Peninsulas are chunks of land that are surrounded on three sides by water and joined to larger bodies of land by a neck, called an isthmus. Peninsulas occur primarily along ocean coastlines, although they appear along large river borders too.
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  • What Is the Bottom of the Ocean Called?

    Q: What Is the Bottom of the Ocean Called?

    A: The bottom of the ocean is known as the hadalpelagic zone and extends from 19,686 feet to the bottom of the ocean floor. This area is found in canyons and deep-water trenches, and the deepest part is found in the Marianas trench.
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  • How Do Volcanoes Form Landforms?

    Q: How Do Volcanoes Form Landforms?

    A: Volcanoes form landforms when the lava that flows out of the peak solidifies into rock. Magma is molten rock from the Earth's mantle pushed up by the action of plate tectonics. When the magma flows or explodes out of the top of the volcano, it is called lava. Over geological timescales, this lava keeps piling on top of successive strata of cooled rock, making several different kinds of landforms.
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  • What Is the Tonga Trench?

    Q: What Is the Tonga Trench?

    A: The Tonga Trench is a submarine trench located in the floor of the South Pacific Ocean. It forms the eastern boundary of the Tonga Ridge. It's 35,702 feet deep at its deepest point and has an average depth of 20,000 feet. It's about 50 miles wide and 850 miles in length. The Tonga Trench and Tonga Ridge form the northern half of the Tonga-Kermadec Arc.
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