Q:

How long does a volcano take to erupt?

A:

Quick Answer

The median duration of recorded eruptions is seven weeks, according to Oregon State University; however, they can go on for thousands of years. The Hawaiian volcano Kilauea is an example of a long-lasting eruption. It has been erupting continuously since 1983.

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Full Answer

According to Penn State, volcanoes erupt until the melt inside the magma chamber is depleted or the gas pressure eases up to a point where it is no longer seeking escape routes. Since melt is produced continuously inside volcanoes, they can continue erupting as long as gas pressure persists. Long-lasting eruptions can wreak havoc on local ecosystems and human civilization.

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