Q:

Where are volcanoes typically found?

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Quick Answer

Volcanoes form at two different types of boundaries between tectonic plates on the Earth's crust: subducting and constructive. Subducting boundaries appear where one plate slides beneath the surface of the other while constructive boundaries slide along one another from side to side rather than colliding. Also, other hot spots on the crust lead to volcano formation as well.

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Where are volcanoes typically found?
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Full Answer

Many of the world's volcanoes sit on the "Ring of Fire." This rim runs up the west coast of North, Central and South America, down the eastern side of Asia, through Indonesia, and then down along New Zealand. This rim follows the boundaries of the Pacific Plate, which is the bed of the Pacific Ocean, with other continental plates. Along the "Ring of Fire," earthquakes are also common as the plates collide with one another.

Eruptions of volcanoes are often as difficult to predict as earthquakes. At places where plates join or when cracks form in plates, magma can ooze up through the fissure that forms; however, at points where one plate slides under the other, the mantle can melt, pushing magma upward and forming pressure under the crust. When the pressure gets high enough to create a crack in the crust, the magma spews forth, creating a volcanic eruption.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Which volcanoes are located along convergent plate boundaries?

    A:

    There are more than 550 active volcanoes in the world, almost all of which are located at convergent tectonic plate boundaries. This includes all of the volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire, such as Japan's Mount Fuji, as well as Mount Saint Helens, Popocafepetl in Mexico and Azul in the Andes Range.

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  • Q:

    How are volcanic arcs formed?

    A:

    Volcanic arcs are formed when an oceanic plate is forced under a continental plate and the water-soaked crust melts as it's forced below the ocean floor, creating magma that feeds volcanoes on the continental side of the subduction zone. Stratovolcanoes are created in an arc around the subduction zone. The geologic phenomenon occurs all around the world but is most commonly seen around the Pacific Ocean tectonic plate in a formation known as the ring of fire.

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  • Q:

    Why are there no active volcanoes in the United Kingdom?

    A:

    The reason there are no active volcanoes in the United Kingdom is that the U.K. lies far from the edge of any tectonic plates. Typically, most volcanoes occur near plate boundaries where impacts allow magma to well up from below the Earth's crust.

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  • Q:

    What are causes and effects of volcanoes?

    A:

    Volcanoes are caused by movement of tectonic plates within the earth's crust or along ocean floors, and produce primary and secondary effects upon eruption. Volcanoes may form when tectonic plates move away from one another, or when they collide. Volcanoes form on land and beneath the sea. Active volcanoes produce physical primary effects along with long-term secondary effects.

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