Volcanoes

4 Nov

Vesuvius, Italy

Mount Vesuvius is a composite volcano located in the Bay of Naples, Italy. Mount Vesuvius stands tall at an elevation of 1281m(4,203 ft.), and produces Andesite lava . Mount Vesuvius volcano is form by oceanic to continental convergence, where the African tectonic plate is being pushed underneath the Eurasian tectonic plate. Mount Vesuvius is most famous for its eruption in79 AD,   destroying the Roman city of Pompeii. The eruption buried the city in ash, mud and rock, entombing its victim with ash. Mount Vesuvius is the only volcano that has erupted in Europe in the last 100 years, it last eruption was in 1944. Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano.

The Eruption of Vesuvius in 1944, picture taken by American pilot.

Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo

Mount Nyiragongo is a caldera volcano located inside Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mount Nyiragongo has a summit elevation of  3470 m( 11,384 feet), about two miles tall. The main crater of Nyiragongo contains the world largest lava lake.  The creation of Nyiragongo is due to the African tectonic plate breaking underneath, creating a hotspot. Mount Nyiragongo’s lavas are made of melilite nephelinite, with extremely low silica content, making the lava flow able to travel downhill up to 60 mph. Mount Nyiragongo last eruption occurred in 2002, which destroyed the town of Goma. Nyiragongo is still active.

The Lava lake inside Nyiragongo crater.

Scientist taking lava zero sample, which is age zero.

The eruption of Nyiragongo in 2002, destroying the town of Goma.

Prestahnukur,  Iceland

The Prestahnukur is a shield volcano located  south west end of  Langjökull icecap , Iceland. The Prestahnukur volcano has  a summit elevation of 1400 m (4,593 feet), it produces basaltic lava flows. The name Prestahnukur means “peak of the priests”, the origin of the name came from the expedition of two priest. The last eruption occurred around 10,000 BC, the volcano has hot springs. The creation of Prestahnukur and other volcanoes , is due to Iceland sitting directly over the divergent fault line of the North American Tectonic plate and the  Eurasian Tectonic plate.

Kula, Turkey

Mount Kula is a cinder cone volcano in Western Turkey.  The summit elevation of Kula is 750m. Mount Kula last eruption was 10,000 years ago, it produces basaltic to phonotephritic  lava. The Kula was  form by the collision of Arabian, African, and Indian Tectonic plate against the Eurasian Tectonic plate. This convergence of tectonic plate, pushes Anatolian plate westward creating the North and East Anatolian fault zone.

Earthquakes,Volcanoes and Tectonic Plate

The earth is alive and in a constant mobile state, driven by radioactive decay and residual heat left from the creation of the universe. The planet is in a continuing process of decay and renewal, new magma pushes to the surface creates new soil, while older soil gets recycled into the asthenosphere. The  hot magma in the mantle gets heated up in a process known as convection, pushes upward towards the surface .When the magma reaches the surface, the tectonic plate get pushed down in the process known as a slab pull. The tectonic plate or lithosphere floats on top of the asthenosphere, the hot magma area beneath it. This floating causes the plate to move grind, pushing, pulling, and colliding with one another. The contact of different plates at the fault zone causes earth quake and volcanoes. The earthquakes are caused when plate tectonic grinds against one another, the friction of these two plates causes seismic activity. The creation of volcanoes at these fault line are created when there is convergence or divergence of tectonic plates, this allows the magma from beneath to escapes to the surface.

The activity of earthquakes and volcanoes always occur near these fault line, the only exception to no volcanoes appearing is when it’s a transform boundary. In a transform boundary, the plate are only sliding pass each other. The process of slip strike fault causes earthquake to occur, due to the friction of the plate grinding. Earthquakes and volcanoes are the results of Tectonic plate shifting in the earth.Volcanoes that are not near any fault zone, are called hotspots. These Volcanoes are form due to weak layer of crust in the lithosphere.

The majority of earthquakes and volcanoes are distributed all around the world along the fault zone. Where ever there is tectonic plate activity, these natural phenomenal are presents. The activities of plate tectonic effect how much earthquakes or volcanoes there are. We can take a look at the pacific ring of fire to look at a prime example of how earthquakes and volcanoes are distributed. The ring of fire is literally covered all over by volcanoes and earthquakes. The outline of the ring of fire makes up pacific tectonic plate. The ring of fire starts with the convergence of the pacific tectonic plate against the Australian tectonic plate, Filipino plate, Eurasian plate, and North American plate. At the same time the Pacific is diverging away from the Nazca and Antarctica tectonic plate.  The end result of all these shifting are the ring of fire. Anywhere we see a lot of volcanoes or earthquake activity is due to the existence of fault lines.

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