Volcanoes

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The Pacific Ring of Fire is the name for a horseshoe-shaped region of high seismic and volcanic activity surrounding the Pacific Ocean Basin. In addition to volcanoes, the area encompasses major fault zones. It spans 25,000 miles and touches a number of island chains, as well as four continents.

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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: Volcanoes have the capacity to produce widespread destruction by covering cities and towns with ash and lava. However, volcanic eruptions also create islands, and the minerals in volcanic ash stimulate plant growth.
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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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  • How Are Inselbergs Formed?

    Q: How Are Inselbergs Formed?

    A: Inselbergs, or isolated rock hills or mountains, are formed by erosion and long-term weathering. A type of disintegration landform, inselbergs are steep sided and rise abruptly from a gently sloping terrain or level surrounding plain. Their formation may be initiated by a volcanic process that causes a body of relatively erosion-resistant hard rock inside a body of softer rock to rise, which eventually erodes to expose the inner hard-rock portion.
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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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  • What Is the Pacific Ring of Fire?

    Q: What Is the Pacific Ring of Fire?

    A: The Pacific Ring of Fire is the name for a horseshoe-shaped region of high seismic and volcanic activity surrounding the Pacific Ocean Basin. In addition to volcanoes, the area encompasses major fault zones. It spans 25,000 miles and touches a number of island chains, as well as four continents.
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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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  • 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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  • What Is an Extinct Volcano?

    Q: What Is an Extinct Volcano?

    A: An extinct volcano is one that has not erupted in at least 10,000 years and is not expected to erupt in the future, according to Oregon State University. There can be confusion between dormant and extinct volcanoes, but the difference between the two is that a dormant volcano may erupt even if it is in the distant future.
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  • Where Is Mount Kilimanjaro Located?

    Q: Where Is Mount Kilimanjaro Located?

    A: Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania. It is a dormant volcano comprising three volcanic cones, and is the highest peak in Africa.
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  • Can Lava Melt Concrete?

    Q: Can Lava Melt Concrete?

    A: Concrete is a composite material, so it has no single melting point of its own. Each of the different components of concrete, primarily sand, gravel and cement, has a melting point of its own. Rather than melt concrete, molten lava causes it to rapidly decompose.
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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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  • What Causes a Volcano to Erupt?

    Q: What Causes a Volcano to Erupt?

    A: A volcano erupts when the pressure of a subterranean pool of magma becomes great enough to crack the earth's crust. Whether the eruption results in a violent explosion or a slow seepage depends on several different factors, according to How Stuff Works.
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  • What Are Active and Inactive Volcanoes?

    Q: What Are Active and Inactive Volcanoes?

    A: Active volcanoes are those that have erupted recently or regularly erupt, and inactive volcanoes are those that have not erupted for a long time. The exact time distinction between active and inactive volcanoes differs between experts.
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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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  • 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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  • How Many Super Volcanoes Are There in the World?

    Q: How Many Super Volcanoes Are There in the World?

    A: The Earth has approximately 20 known supervolcanoes, according to James Morgan, who write for the BBC News. What constitutes a "supervolcano" is not clearly defined, so the term is avoided in the literature, but it is often used in reference to two distinct phenomena.
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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. The last magmatic eruption the volcano experienced was over 1,000 years ago. Geologists believe that Mt. Rainier is due to erupt again in the near future.
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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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  • 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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  • What Do Volcanologists Do?

    Q: What Do Volcanologists Do?

    A: Volcanologists study the processes of volcano formation and their eruptive activity. In addition to studying current volcanic activity, they also study the eruptions of volcanoes throughout history.
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