Volcanoes are best defined as cracks in the Earth’s surface where magma has flowed and turned into lava. Volcanoes can be either active, dormant or extinct. While active volcanoes erupt regularly, dormant volcanoes erupted in the past, but do not now; and extinct volcanoes have never erupted and scientists do not expect that they will.
Scientists also classify volcanoes further as to their form. These forms include fissure volcanoes, composites, cinder cones, shield volcanoes and lava domes. Fissure volcanoes form when tectonics plates spread apart, while composites form when two plates meet, and one is beneath the other. Composite volcanoes have a crater and several layers of lava and hardened ash and debris. They can erupt because of gas build-ups.
Cinder cones often form on other volcanoes as cooled lava and usually only erupt once. Lava domes can be quite explosive, while shield volcanoes are not. In lava domes, lava can plug the vent causing a build-up, which can lead to an eruption. Shield volcanoes are mainly comprised of many different layers of hardened lava.
500 Volcanoes around the world
There are about 500 volcanoes all over the world with about 3/4 of them located around the “ring of fire”. The ring of fire is that area where the Pacific plate meets other plates. Although volcanoes can do a lot of damage, they have also been known to create land. Volcanoes helped create some of the Hawaiian Islands, which many people enjoy today.
The famous volcano in Italy, Mount Vesuvius, is the most active volcano in all of Europe. In the year 79A.D., it erupted and killed more than 2,000 people in the city of Pompeii. The volcano turned the entire city into ashes, and left it buried in lava. Although the volcano is now inactive, it still shows some signs of activity beneath its surface in the form of small lava discharges and smoke.
The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, located in the south east portion of the island, is mostly immersed within the ocean. This volcano is a magnificent structure making it one of the most widely known volcanoes anywhere. This volcano has destroyed over 200 homes in the past. Centuries old lava covers the craters of this mountainous volcano which is about 200 years old.
The Llullaillaco volcano in Chile holds the distinction of being the tallest volcano on the globe. The Atacama region, which is where people will find Llullaillaco, has many other volcanoes of varying sizes, as well. One of the most, unique features of the magnificent Llullaillaco is that it is covered with snow most any time of the year. The last time that this volcano erupted was around the year 1877.
Mount Saint Helens, in Washington D.C., is a famous volcano whose eruptions began about 120 years ago. Since this volcano began erupting, it has destroyed many homes and killed many people. The last time the volcano erupted was in the year 1980. Mount Saint Helen’s eruptions are extremely powerful, and people have compared the eruptions to the bombing of several nuclear bombs.
In conclusion, volcanoes are cracks in the Earth’s crusts where magma has reached the surface and turned into lava. There are about 500 volcanoes spread out all over the world, and above are just a few of the most well-known ones. Although volcanoes are most known for the destruction they can do, there are some cases where volcanoes have helped create lands such as the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. There is no experience that is more impressive than seeing one of these spectacular volcanoes, and they are sure to leave lasting impressions on people of any age.