Q:

Why are there volcanoes?

A:

Quick Answer

Volcanic vents allow the Earth to release built up gases from the heat and pressure emanating from its core. Magma rises towards the surface, and as the pressure builds the magma seeks outlets through which to flow. The higher the pressure build-up, the greater the volcanic explosion.

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Why are there volcanoes?
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Full Answer

Volcanoes in areas with more porous soil allow for the steady release of magma and are less likely to have severe explosions. Magma comes from rocks melted by the heat of the Earth's core. Because it is less dense than the un-melted rock, it slowly pushes up towards the surface. The continual creation of magma requires volcanoes for release both on Earth and other planets.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Are all volcanoes the same?

    A:

    No two volcanoes are exactly the same, as they all have differences in dimensions of their mountains and craters, as well as their relative frequency and type of eruption. Volcanoes come in cinder cone, shield and stratovolcano varieties.

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  • Q:

    Where do volcanoes occur?

    A:

    Volcanoes occur along the edges of large tectonic plates. Wherever large tectonic plates collide, magma from the interior of the Earth’s crust gets pushed upward through a vent. The top of the vent is called a crater, and it is through this opening that volcanic eruptions take place.

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  • Q:

    How are cinder cone volcanoes formed?

    A:

    Cinder cone volcanoes form when high temperatures and pressure melt rock deep inside the Earth. Once a large amount of magma forms, it rises until it reaches the surface, creating an eruption.

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  • Q:

    When do volcanoes occur?

    A:

    Volcanoes occur when magma is able to reach the surface of the Earth through a gap in the crust. This typically occurs at plate boundaries, where two tectonic plates pull away or move against each other. Volcanoes can also form at weak points in plates, called hot spots.

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