BIG Questions
1 – What plate settings do 2 - Volcanoes aren’t volcanoes occur at? equally dangerous.... how do their hazards differ, and why?

• an opening in a planet's
crust, which allows hot molten rock, ash, and gases to escape from below the surface.

What comes out of a volcano?


What comes out of a volcano?


Most common: H2O CO2 SO2 HCl

What comes out of a volcano?


So...Why are there different types of Volcanoes

• Viscosity of the magma controls the type of

• Viscosity – a liquid’s resistance to flow • Low viscosity – flows easily • High viscosity – flows slowly • Viscosity is controlled by the composition
and temperature of the magma.

• Silica (SiO ) content controls viscosity.

• Basaltic • Andesitic • Rhyolitic

Viscosity and Silica content
Compositi on Magma Source Viscosity Gas % Silica % Explosive Location ness


Upper Mantle


1-2 %

~ 50 %

Least / Mild

Divergent Boundarie s and Hot Spots


Ocean Medium Crust & High Sediments High Extreme

3-4 %

~ 60 %

Intermedi Convergen ate t Subductio n Zones Greatest Convergen t Subductio n Zones

Rhyolitic Continent al Crust

4-6 %

~ 70 %

High silica = high viscosity = explosive eruption Low silica = low viscosity = quiet eruption


• Shapes of volcanoes are due to the
viscosity of the magma.

• Runny lava forms relatively flat shield
volcanoes with quite eruptions. eruptions.

• Thick lava forms steep cones with explosive

Explosiveness of the volcano is controlled by - the silica content of the magma - the viscosity of the magma - the release of gases


Types of Eruptions
Plate Setting: Divergent Boundaries and Hot Spots Type of Volcano: Shield volcanoes Type of Magma: Basaltic composition



Plate Setting: Convergent Boundary Subduction Zones Type of Volcano: Composite volcanoes and Cinder Cones Type of Magma: Andesitic or Rhyolitic composition

Quiet Eruptions
• Magma flows easily • Gasses bubble out gently

Plate Setting: Divergent Boundary

Divergent boundary volcanoes have very low viscous magma and non-explosive eruptions

Plate Setting: Hot Spot Hot spot volcanoes form when mantle plumes rise through the crust like a blow torch Characterized by low viscous magma and non-explosive eruptions

Type of Volcano: Shield
•Usually start under water •resembles a Roman shield lying on the ground •characterized by relatively quiet eruptions with lava
flows that harden on top of each other

Type of Magma: Basaltic
• runny, low viscosity lava • relatively little explosive activity

Examples: - Hawaiian Islands - Iceland

Kilauea, Hawaii:

A typical shield volcano

Basaltic eruptions produce 2 types of lava

oehoe – hot, fast moving lava. Surface looks li wrinkles and rope-like coils

Pahoehoe Lava

Pahoehoe Lava

Basaltic eruptions produce 2 types of lava

cooler, slow moving lava. Hardens to form roug jagged lava chunks

Anatomy of a Shield Volcano

Explosive Eruptions

• Magma is thick and “sticky” • Magma slowly builds up in the volcano's pipe • Gasses cannot easily escape from the magma • Trapped gasses build up pressure until the volcano explodes • More dangerous and pyroclastic flows
have more hazards such as

Pyroclastic Flows

• Pyroclastic • speeds • Can

flows - fast-moving hot gas and rock fragments which travel away from the volcano generally as great as 450 miles/hr reach temperatures of 1,830 °F

Plate Setting: Convergent Boundary Explosive volcanoes form at convergent subduction zones and have highly viscous magma

Type of Volcano: Cinder Cone

• relatively small (less than 300 m or 1000 ft high) • relatively steep slopes (30 - 40 degrees) • made of pyroclastic material

Type Of Magma: Andesitic
- high silica content - highly viscous magma - explosive eruptions

Examples - Paracutin, in Mexico

Anatomy of a Cinder Cone

Type of Volcano: Composite

• large (1 - 10 km across) • Also called a Stratovolcano • layered structure, consisting of alternating
layers of lava and pyroclastic material

• These volcanoes make up the largest

percentage of the Earth's volcanoes (about 60%)

Type Of Magma: Rhyolitic
- high silica content - highly viscous - explosive eruptions

Examples: Mt. Vesuvius, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier in the Cascade Range

Mt. St. Helens:

Before the 1980 eruption

Mt. St. Helens after its 1980 eruption

Anatomy of a Composite Volcano

Pyroclastic flow

Status of a Volcano

• Active

– currently erupting or showing signs of an imminent eruption. Risk is high – does not show signs of an erupting in the near future or has not erupted in the recent past – unlikely to ever erupt again

• Dormant • Extinct

Signs a volcano is about to erupt
When a volcano begins to show new or unusual signs of activity, it is possible it is about to erupt

• Increased Earthquake Activity • Ground Deformation • Change in water composition • Gas emissions • Monitoring from space

Volcanic Hazards

Volcanic Hazards
• Lava flows • Ash fall • Pyroclastic flows • Mudflows • Volcanic Gases • Tsunami

Volcanic Hazards

Volcanic Hazards

Volcanic Hazards

• http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/activity/alertsystem/icons.php •

Volcano Hazards program

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