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What is Volcanism?
• Volcanism is the phenomenon of eruption of molten
rock onto the surface of the Earth or a solid-surface
planet or moon, where lava, pyroclastics and
volcanic gases erupt through a break in the surface
called a vent. It includes all phenomena resulting
from and causing magma within the crust or
mantle of the body, to rise through the crust and
form volcanic rocks on the surface.
• Eruption of molten rock (magma),
pyroclastic fragments, or hot water and
steam, onto the surface of a planet
(including volcanoes, geysers, and
• A volcano is the vent through which
magma and gases are discharged.
• Magma that reaches the surface is
called “lava.” Volcanos are named for
Vulcan — the Roman god of fire!


Why and Where do Volcanoes form?

• Volcanism is the result of a planet losing its

internal heat.
• Although most volcanic activity takes place at
plate boundaries, volcanism also can occur within
the plate interiors at hotspots
Categories of Vulcanism; Bimodal Vulcanism

•Bimodal volcanism refers to the eruption

of both mafic and felsic lavas from a
single volcanic centre with little or no
lavas of intermediate composition. This
type of volcanism is normally associated
with areas of extensional tectonics,
particularly rifts.
Continental drift
•Continental drift is the movement of the
Earth's continents relative to each other, thus
appearing to "drift" across the ocean bed. The
speculation that continents might have
'drifted' was first put forward by Abraham
Ortelius in 1596.
•In geology, the places known as hotspots
or hot spots are volcanic regions thought
to be fed by underlying mantle that is
anomalously hot compared with the
surrounding mantle. Their position on the
Earth's surface is independent of tectonic
plate boundaries.
Volcanic Arc
•A volcanic arc is a chain of volcanoes
formed above a subducting plate,
positioned in an arc shape as seen from
above. Offshore volcanoes form islands,
resulting in a volcanic island arc.
Formations of Volcanoes
•Volcanoes are a vibrant
manifestation of plate tectonics
processes. Volcanoes are common
along convergent and divergent plate
boundaries. Volcanoes are also
found within lithospheric plates away
from plate boundaries. Wherever
Volcanoes at Plate Boundaries

Convergent Plate Boundaries

Converging plates can be oceanic, continental, or
one of each. If
both are continental they will smash together and form a
range. If at least one is oceanic, it will subduct. A
subducting plate
creates volcanoes. Locations with converging in which at
least one plate is
oceanic at the boundary have volcanoes.
• Melting at convergent plate boundaries has
many causes. The subducting plate heats up
as it sinks into the mantle. Also, water is
mixed in with the sediments lying on top of the
subducting plate. As the sediments subduct,
the water rises into the overlying mantle
material and lowers its melting point. Melting
in the mantle above the subducting plate
leads to volcanoes within an island or
Why does Melting occur in Convergent Boundaries?

• The subducting plate heats up as it sinks

into the mantle. Also, water is mixed in with
the sediments lying on top of the subducting
plate. This water lowers the melting point of
the mantle material, which increases
melting. Volcanoes at convergent plate
boundaries are found all along the Pacific
Ocean basin, primarily at the edges of the
Pacific, Cocos, and Nazca plates.
Pacific Ring of Fire
The Pacific Ring of Fire is where the majority of the volcanic
activity on the Earth occurs. A description of the Pacific Ring of Fire
along western North America is a description of the plate boundaries.
• Subduction at the Middle American Trench creates volcanoes in
Central America.
• The San Andreas Fault is a transform boundary.
• Subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate beneath the North American
plate creates the Cascade volcanoes.
• Subduction of the Pacific plate beneath the North American plate in
the north creates the Aleutian Islands volcanoes.
The Cascades
• The Cascades are a chain of volcanoes
at a convergent boundary where an
oceanic plate is subducting beneath a
continental plate. Specifically the
volcanoes are the result of subduction of
the Juan de Fuca, Gorda, and Explorer
Plates beneath North America.
Divergent plate Boundaries
• At divergent plate boundaries hot mantle
rock rises into the space where the
plates are moving apart. As the hot
mantle rock convects upward it rises
higher in the mantle. The rock is under
lower pressure; this lowers the melting
temperature of the rock and so it melts.
Lava erupts through long cracks in the
Why does melting occur at divergent plate

•Hot mantle rock rises where the

plates are moving apart. This
releases pressure on the mantle,
which lowers its melting
temperature. Lava erupts
through long cracks in the
ground, or fissures.
• Volcanoes erupt at mid-ocean ridges,
such as the Mid-Atlantic ridge, where
seafloor spreading creates new
seafloor in the rift valleys. Where a
hotspot is located along the ridge,
such as at Iceland, volcanoes grow
high enough to create islands
Mid-Ocean Ridges
•Volcanoes erupt at mid-ocean ridges,
such as the Mid-Atlantic ridge, where
seafloor spreading creates new
seafloor in the rift valleys. Where a
hotspot is located along the ridge,
such as at Iceland, volcanoes grow
high enough to create islands.
Continental Rifting
• Rifting is the process by which the continental
lithosphere stretches. A Continental rift is the
belt or zone of the continental lithosphere
where the extensional deformation (rifting) is
occurring. These zones have important
consequences and geological features, and if
the rifting is successful, lead to the formation of
new ocean basins.
3 Types of Volcanoes
Composite Volcano- Composite volcanoes,
sometimes known as strato volcanoes, are steep
sided cones formed from layers of ash and [lava]
flows. The eruptions from these volcanoes may
be a pyroclastic flow rather than a flow of lava. A
pyroclastic flow is a superheated mixture of hot
steam, ash, rock and dust. A pyroclastic flow can
travel down the side of a volcano at very high
speeds with temperatures over 400 degrees
celsius. Composite volcanoes can rise over 8000
• When composite volcanoes erupt they are
explosive and pose a threat to nearby life and
property. Eruptions are explosive due to the thick,
highly viscous lava that is produced by composite
cone volcanoes. This viscous lava has a lot to do
with why they are shaped the way they are. The
thick lava cannot travel far down the slope of the
volcano before it cools.

• Composite volcanoes are usually found at

destructive plate margins. Examples of composite
volcanoes include Mount Fuji (Japan), Mount St
• Over multiple eruptions, both eruptions
and lava flows form the steep, sweeping
sides of this volcano.
• Most dangerous
• Eruptions can occur frequently
Mount Fuji
Mt. St Helens
Mt. Pinatubo
Cinder cone Volcano
•They are the simplest types of
•They are formed when there is an
explosive activity, throws magma in
the air and cools. They are turned to
cinders and settles around the
volcanoes opening
Shield Volcanoes
•Shield volcanoes are low with gently
sloping sides and are formed from
layers of lava. Eruptions are typically
non-explosive. Shield volcanoes
produce fast flowing fluid [lava] that
can flow for many miles. Eruptions
tend to be frequent but relatively
gentle. Although these eruptions
• Over multiple eruptions, long, fluid lava
flows to form broad layers.
• Large in size but not dangerous.
• Eruptions occur several times.
Dome Volcanoes
• Acid [lava] is much thicker than [lava]
which flows from shield volcanoes.
Dome volcanoes have much steeper
sides than shield volcanoes. This is
because the lava is thick and sticky. It
cannot flow very far before ot cools and
hardens. An example is Puy de Dome in
the Auvergne region of France which
• Forms when hot fluid lava erupts,
hardening in a dome shape
• Has small stature
• One active period = extinct
Volcanoes according to activity;

•Active Volcano- An active

volcano is a volcano that has
atleast one eruption during the
past 10,000 years. An active
volcano might be erupting or
Inactive Volcano
• An inactive volcano is an active volcano that is
not erupting, but supposed to erupt again
Extinct Volcano
• An extinct volcano has not had an eruption for at
least 10,000 years and is not expected to erupt
again in a comparable time scale of the future.
Hazards posed by Volcanic Eruptions

• Hot Blasts Volcanic Gas

• Lava Flow Tsunami
• Dome Growth Lahar
• Pyroclastic flow
• Pyroclastic Surge
• Tephra Falls
Types of Volcano according to Lava Flow

• Pahoehoe lava flows are characterized by

smooth, gently undulating, or broadly
hummocky surfaces. The liquid lava flowing
beneath a thin, still-plastic crust drags and
wrinkles it into tapestry-like folds and rolls
resembling twisted rope. Pahoehoe lava
flows are fed almost wholly internally by
streams of liquid lava flowing beneath a
solidified or partly solidified surface.
•In contrast to pahoehoe, the surface
of a lava is exceedingly rough,
covered with a layer of partly loose,
very irregular fragments commonly
called clinkers. A lava flows are fed
principally by rivers of liquid lava
flowing in open channels. At the front
of the flow, clinkers from the top roll
down and are overridden by the
•Thin basaltic lava flows generally
contain many holes, or vesicles,
left by bubbles of gas frozen into
the congealing liquid. Thick
flows, which remain hot for long
periods, may lose most of their
gas before the lava congeals,
and the resulting rock may be
• Pyroclastic flows, which are low-
viscosity, fluidized mixtures of hot but
solid volcanic fragments and hot gas,
are often described in newspaper
accounts as lava flows. This causes
much confusion. Molten lava flows are
relatively high-viscosity liquids, and most
of them advance slowly (a few metres
per minute to less than a metre per day).
Pyroclastic flows move more like a
dense, low-viscosity gas pouring down a
slope and even move upslope if they