Internal Geologic Processes

Internal processes get their energy from the Earth's internal heat.
They are:
Magmatism: generation, rise and solidification of molten rock (magma)
formed by partial melting of the Earth’s interior. Igneous rocks form by
Metamorphism: change of pre-existing rocks by heat, pressure and
fluids. Metamorphic rocks are the product of this process.
Deformation: change in size, shape and location of rocks and regolith.

A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet's surface or crust, which
allows hot magma, volcanic ash and gases to escape from below the
Volcanoes are generally found where tectonic plates are diverging or
converging. A mid-oceanic ridge, for example the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, has
examples of volcanoes caused by divergent tectonic plates pulling apart;
the Pacific Ring of Fire has examples of volcanoes caused by convergent
tectonic plates coming together.

Magma is molten rock within the Earth's crust. When magma erupts through
the earth's surface it is called lava.
Lava can be thick and slow-moving or thin and fast-moving. Rock also comes
from volcanoes in other forms, including ash (finely powdered rock that
looks like dark smoke coming from the volcano), cinders (bits of fragmented
lava), and pumice (light-weight rock that is full of air bubbles and is formed
in explosive volcanic eruptions - this type of rock can float on water).

Cross-section through a stratovolcano (vertical scale is exaggerated):
1. Large magma chamber
2. Bedrock
3. Conduit (pipe)
4. Base
5. Sill
6. Dike
7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano
8. Flank

9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano
10. Throat
11. Parasitic cone
12. Lava flow
13. Vent
14. Crater
15. Ash cloud

Extreme Volcanoes:
The largest volcano on Earth is Hawaii's Mauna Loa. Mauna Loa is about 6 miles (10
km) tall from the sea floor to its summit (it rises about 4 km above sea level). It also
has the greatest volume of any volcano, 10,200 cubic miles (42,500 cubic
kilometers). The most active volcano in the continental USA is Mt. St. Helens
(located in western Washington state).
Lava: Magma that has reached the surface of the Earth.

Dike: Tabular body of intrusive magma that cuts across layers of a volcanic structure.
Crater (volcanic): Bowl shaped depression or hollow, usually with steep sides at the
summit of a volcano or on its flanks which is produced by volcanic activity.

Conduit (volcanic): Passageway, more or less cylindrical in shape through which
magma rises from the magma chamber to the surface during volcanic activity.

There are many types of volcanoes:
Shield Volcano - A gently-sloping volcano that emits mostly
basaltic lava (very fluid lava) that flows in long-lasting, relatively
gentle eruptions - explosions are minimal. Shield volcanoes can be
very big. An example is Mt. Kilauea (in Hawaii, USA).

Cinder Cone - A cone-shaped volcano whose steep sides are
formed by loose, fragmented cinders that fall to the Earth close to the
vent. The lava flows through a single vent that is usually only up to
about 1,000 feet tall. There is usually a bowl-shaped crater at the top.
As the gas-filled lava erupts into the air, the lava fragments into pieces
and forms cinders.

Composite or Strato Volcano - A steep-coned volcano that
explosively emits gases, ash, pumice, and a small amount of stiff, silica lava
(called rhyolite). This type of volcano can have eruptions accompanied by lahars
-- deadly mudflows. Most volcanoes on Earth are of this type. Stratovolcanoes
kill more people than any other type of volcanoes - this is because of their
abundance on Earth and their powerful mudflows. Examples are Krakatoa in
Indonesia, Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, and Mt. St. Helens in Washington
state, USA.

Rhyolite Caldera Complex - these are the most explosive volcanoes. They do not
look like common volcanoes -- after an eruption, the result is a caldera (crater)
caused when the area around the vent collapses. Examples are Yellowstone in
Wyoming, USA and Lake Taupo in New Zealand (which erupted around A.D. 80).

Lava Dome - A bulbous (rounded) volcano that forms when very
viscous lava barely flows. An example is Mont Pelée in Martinique.

Accumulation of lava in the shape of a steep-sided dome
over an eruptive vent.

Fissure volcano
Structure composed of the accumulation of volcanic material on
the sides of an eruptive fissure, usually associated with a ridge
or rift situation.

Compound volcano: Volcanic structure composed of two or
more vents or lava domes or stratovolcanoes, often formed at
different times.

Cinder cone
Cone build up by the accumulation of loose bits of magma (scoria)
that fall around a vent or crater after being expelled into the air
during moderately explosive activity. If still sufficiently hot they meld
when they fall to the ground.

Large depression produced following an eruption by the
collapse of the roof of a magma chamber. Usually circular or
horseshoe shaped when viewed from above.