Volcanoes

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The main features of a volcano include a vent, a summit crater and a magma chamber. The vent is an opening through which volcanic material is erupted. Volcanoes can have more than one vent. The summit crater is the large concave opening that holds the central vent at the top of the volcano. The magma chamber is the large pool-like structure inside the volcano that holds the magma.

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  • What conditions make for a violent volcanic eruption?

    Q: What conditions make for a violent volcanic eruption?

    A: According to the Oregon State University Department of Geosciences, a volcanic eruption may become violent if pressure builds up inside the volcano for any reason. An explosive eruption is much more dangerous than a steady flow of magma and can spread ash and pyroclastic material over a wide area. The eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 1980 was a textbook example of a violent, explosive volcanic eruption.
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  • What are the positive and negative effects of volcanoes?

    Q: What are the positive and negative effects of volcanoes?

    A: The negative effects of volcanoes include the destruction of man-made and natural environments and the death of human, animal and plant life. On the other hand, volcanoes generate geothermal energy and produce nutrients that result in fertile soil.
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  • What is the most destructive volcano in the world?

    Q: What is the most destructive volcano in the world?

    A: To humans, the most destructive volcano in the world is Mount Tambora in Indonesia. This volcano created the most powerful eruption in known history and killed 100,000 people along the way. Its eruption was 100 times more powerful than Vesuvius.
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  • What is a composite cone volcano?

    Q: What is a composite cone volcano?

    A: A composite cone volcano, or a stratovolcano, is built by multiple eruptions from surrounding volcanoes. They are formed over hundreds of thousands of years and have their entire structure build by magma flowing from geographically close volcanoes.
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  • How often does Old Faithful erupt?

    Q: How often does Old Faithful erupt?

    A: Old Faithful erupts at varying intervals from 60 to 110 minutes in length. The Yellowstone National Park staff offers predictions based on past activity; this is so that visitors can plan a visit to the geyser area during an eruption, which lasts between one-and-a-half minutes and five minutes.
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  • How do volcanoes change the Earth's surface?

    Q: How do volcanoes change the Earth's surface?

    A: Volcanic eruptions involve the incursion of liquid magma into a physical environment, and the effects include major transformations, ranging from the formation of new land to the destruction of the viability of an existing environment. Just one example of the creation of new land comes from the Hawaiian Islands, which appeared as magma cooled into land after eruptions.
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  • What is a magma chamber?

    Q: What is a magma chamber?

    A: A magma chamber is a structure made up of solidified crystal mush and molten rock located below the surface of the Earth. When a magma chamber solidifies and cools, it is known as a pluton.
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  • How does a volcano form?

    Q: How does a volcano form?

    A: A volcano forms when a vent in the Earth's crust allows magma to well up from below. The magma fills a void underneath the surface, and when it builds up enough pressure, it bursts through to the surface. As the magma cools, it hardens into rock, and multiple eruptions may build up the mountainous form of a volcano.
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  • Where is Krakatoa located?

    Q: Where is Krakatoa located?

    A: Krakatoa is a volcanic island located in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. The island measures 3 miles wide by 5 1/2 miles long.
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  • What is the top of a volcano called?

    Q: What is the top of a volcano called?

    A: The top of a volcano is called the crater. A volcano is shaped like an inverted cone, and the tip of the cone is the crater. The crater is the opening of the vent in a volcano through which the molten magma or the lava is ejected.
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  • When will Yellowstone erupt?

    Q: When will Yellowstone erupt?

    A: Predicting when the next eruption will occur is difficult; however, the National Science Foundation estimates the next major eruption shouldn't happen for at least another one million years. The next eruption may dump several inches of ash over a large portion of the United States and could change Earth's climate.
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  • How do volcanoes affect the environment?

    Q: How do volcanoes affect the environment?

    A: An erupting volcano emits gases and dust particles that can cause profound changes in weather and climate throughout the world. Volcanism also affects the environment by producing acid rain and making ocean water warmer.
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  • When did Mount Saint Helens erupt?

    Q: When did Mount Saint Helens erupt?

    A: Mount St. Helens' most significant eruption in modern times occurred on March 20, 1980. It was followed by additional eruptions between Dec. 7, 1989 to Jan. 6, 1990, Nov. 5, 1990 to Feb. 14, 1991, Oct.11, 2004, Mar. 8, 2005, and between Jan. 16, 2008 to July 10, 2008.
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  • Are volcanoes mountains?

    Q: Are volcanoes mountains?

    A: While many volcanoes are mountains, it is possible for a volcano to erupt from a vent in any type of land form. Over time, volcanoes become mountains by depositing their discharge around them in ever-increasing layers. Not all mountains are volcanoes.
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  • What are the different parts of a volcano?

    Q: What are the different parts of a volcano?

    A: The main parts of a volcano include the summit crater, the magma chamber, the central vent and the edifice. While volcanoes vary considerably in terms of size and shape, most land volcanoes have structural similarities.
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  • What country has the most volcanoes?

    Q: What country has the most volcanoes?

    A: Indonesia has the most volcanoes, with 76 volcanoes that have erupted within historical times. The Smithsonian Institution has 141 Indonesian entries in its volcano database; this includes volcanoes which have yet to erupt.
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  • What is an active volcano?

    Q: What is an active volcano?

    A: An active volcano is one that has had at least one eruption in the past 10,000 years. An active volcano can be dormant or erupting.
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  • What causes volcanic eruptions?

    Q: What causes volcanic eruptions?

    A: Volcanic eruptions occur when magma builds up beneath the Earth's crust and forces its way to the surface. Natural vents in the crust allow magma passage to the surface, and eruptions occur when the magma that forms is less dense than the material above it, causing it to flow upward. In some cases, this flow is slow and steady, but it can also be rapid and violent.
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  • What damage do volcanoes cause?

    Q: What damage do volcanoes cause?

    A: Volcanoes cause physical damage to structures and buildings, wildlife, local vegetation and the atmosphere, as well as posing health risks. Residences within the vicinity of a volcanic eruption often receive timely notice before an eruption occurs. This reduces the likelihood of danger to humans.
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  • When did Mount Rainier last erupt?

    Q: When did Mount Rainier last erupt?

    A: Washington state's Mount Rainier last erupted between 1894 and 1895, according to Geology.com. Residents of nearby cities heard explosions coming from the volcano's summit. Geologists believe that Mt. Rainier is due to erupt again in the near future.
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  • What is a lateral blast?

    Q: What is a lateral blast?

    A: A lateral blast, also known as a lateral eruption, is a volcanic eruption that occurs out of the side of a volcano instead of at its summit. An example of a lateral blast is the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.
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