Q:

Where do volcanoes mostly occur?

A:

Quick Answer

There are three places a volcano can occur: at mid-ocean ridges, at subduction zones where a continental and ocean plate collide, and at a hot spot located in the middle of a plate. Mid-ocean ridges are caused by divergent tectonic plates and are the most volcanically active feature on earth.

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Full Answer

Subduction zones occur when an oceanic plate and a continental plate collide, which causes the denser oceanic plate to slide underneath the lighter continental plate. When this happens, the crust in the oceanic plate is pulled deeper into the earth, where it eventually melts to form magma that eventually rises to the surface through the volcano. The "Pacific Ring of Fire" that stretches around the Pacific is home to the majority of the world's subduction zones, which is why it is also home to most of the land volcanoes on earth.

The third type of volcano occurs at a so-called hot spot, which is a thinner spot in the earth's crust where magma rises to the surface to form a volcano. Most volcanoes that result from hot spots have more gradual, less destructive eruptions. The Hawaiian Islands were formed by such a hot spot, with each separate island being formed over time as the oceanic plate slid over the top of the hot spot.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do volcanoes occur?

    A:

    Volcanoes occur when magma from the earth's mantle reaches the surface. This can happen at the place where two tectonic plates diverge or converge. It can also occur in a place called a hotspot, in which magma from the mantle reaches the surface in the middle of a tectonic plate.

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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:

    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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  • Q:

    How often do volcanoes occur?

    A:

    It is estimated that approximately 50 to 60 volcanoes erupt globally every month. Some volcanoes, such as Kilauea, are almost continually active. Other volcanoes only erupt once every few decades.

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