Q:

Where are volcanoes typically found?

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Quick Answer

Volcanoes form at two different types of boundaries between tectonic plates on the Earth's crust: subducting and constructive. Subducting boundaries appear where one plate slides beneath the surface of the other while constructive boundaries slide along one another from side to side rather than colliding. Also, other hot spots on the crust lead to volcano formation as well.

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Where are volcanoes typically found?
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Full Answer

Many of the world's volcanoes sit on the "Ring of Fire." This rim runs up the west coast of North, Central and South America, down the eastern side of Asia, through Indonesia, and then down along New Zealand. This rim follows the boundaries of the Pacific Plate, which is the bed of the Pacific Ocean, with other continental plates. Along the "Ring of Fire," earthquakes are also common as the plates collide with one another.

Eruptions of volcanoes are often as difficult to predict as earthquakes. At places where plates join or when cracks form in plates, magma can ooze up through the fissure that forms; however, at points where one plate slides under the other, the mantle can melt, pushing magma upward and forming pressure under the crust. When the pressure gets high enough to create a crack in the crust, the magma spews forth, creating a volcanic eruption.

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Related Questions

  • 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 do volcanoes form?

    A:

    Commonly, volcanoes form at points where the Earth's crust is thinnest. This is normally near fault lines, but has been known to occur in the middle of tectonic plates or even in subduction zones, where one plate is pushing another plate down under it.

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  • Q:

    Where do volcanoes come from?

    A:

    Volcanoes are formed when the molten rocks and gases under the earth break through the crust and erupt. A volcano can be a crack, a dome or a mountain with a crater at the top.

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  • Q:

    How do volcanoes work?

    A:

    Volcanoes are vents in the Earth's crust that allow liquid lava from inside the planet to travel to the surface. According to Reference.com, the word "volcano" applies to both the vent and the cylindrical cone the lava forms.

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