Q:

Why are there volcanoes?

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Quick Answer

Volcanic vents allow the Earth to release built up gases from the heat and pressure emanating from its core. Magma rises towards the surface, and as the pressure builds the magma seeks outlets through which to flow. The higher the pressure build-up, the greater the volcanic explosion.

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Why are there volcanoes?
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Full Answer

Volcanoes in areas with more porous soil allow for the steady release of magma and are less likely to have severe explosions. Magma comes from rocks melted by the heat of the Earth's core. Because it is less dense than the un-melted rock, it slowly pushes up towards the surface. The continual creation of magma requires volcanoes for release both on Earth and other planets.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What gases are produced by volcanic eruptions?

    A:

    Volcanic eruptions mainly produce steam (H2 0 ), sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ). They do release other gases in lesser amounts, such as carbon monoxide (CO), helium (He), hydrogen (H 2 ), hydrogen chloride (HCL), hydrogen fluoride (HF) and hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S).

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  • 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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  • Q:

    How do volcanoes change the Earth's surface?

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    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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  • Q:

    Why do so many of Earth's volcanoes occur along plate boundaries?

    A:

    Plate boundaries are the weakest points in the Earth's crust, which leads to cracks that allow magma to seep through and develop volcanoes, according to NEWTON. These areas are called "subduction zones." Subduction zones form the Ring of Fire, a volcanic region in the Pacific Ocean, explains Live Science.

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