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    10 interesting less known facts about volcanoes



    Mount Agung in Bali has suddenly been thrusting ash thousands of feet into the sky for almost two weeks. Lava is burbling at the Mount Agung's peak. Indonesian government have ordered evacuations around Agung, while large amount of tourists are stranded at the closed airport. but did you know What are volcanoes? We know that these are great mountains, spouting fountains of fiery magma from their peaks. We even know the names of the most famous - like Vesuvius or St. Helens. But in the world there are many facts about these fire-breathing mountains, which you precisely did not know.

    To understand the volcanoes, we need to understand the composition of the Earth and plate tectonics. Here we can give an analogy: The earth is a sphere of molten rock with a chilled bark. Such a pie. Only the crust is the surface of the Earth on which we live, and it is broken into plates. These plates float in the ocean of molten rock below the surface, which is called the mantle. Like the ordinary ocean, the ocean of magma or molten rock in the mantle also has flows. Hot magma rises from the core of the Earth, and the cold goes to it. This generates flows that move the plates of the earth's surface and form plate tectonics.

    Tectonic plates move to the sides, diverge or converge, colliding. These two states form volcanoes. Volcanoes are an opening or crack in the earth's crust, through which magma and hot gases can escape. When the tectonic plates diverge, the new magma rises upward, forming fresh batch of the earth's crust. When the plates converge, they often creep one under the other. This is called subduction. The incredible power melts the stones of the subducted plate, forming magma. This is the second state that generates volcanoes.

    A great way to look at the boundaries of plates is to find a volcano. They can be located on the continents, but the most interesting of them are still formed in the chains of islands, not at the borders of plates.

    Oceanic volcanoes matter, because they help to form new islands. There are certain places that are not tectonic boundaries. These are the regions in which the hot spots of the earth are located. In them, the rising magma turns out to be concentrated and melts the bark. At the bottom of the ocean grows a volcanic mountain. Over time, the volcano grows until the island is shown above the ocean surface. If a plate passes over a hot spot, eventually it can form a chain of islands like Hawaii.

    Here are ten interesting facts about volcanoes.

    There are three main types of volcanoes. Although all volcanoes represent the achievement of hot earth's magma and eruption, they are divided into different types. Shield volcanoes have lava flows with low viscosity, which spread to tens of kilometers; this makes the volcanoes very wide with smooth edges. Stratovolcanoes include different types of lava, spewing ash and stones and grow to incredible heights. Another type of volcanoes - slag cones - is represented by small volcanoes and shows short eruptions that grow a cone only up to 400 meters in height.

    What magma is different from lava. At 30 kilometers under your feet is the mantle of the Earth. This is an area of ??super-hot rock that extends to the core of the Earth. It is so hot that the molten rock forms giant bubbles of liquid stone called magma chambers. This magma is lighter than the surrounding rock, so it rises upward, looking for cracks and weaknesses of the earth's crust. When it finally reaches the surface, it erupts from under the earth as lava, ash, volcanic gases and rocks. Magma it is called underground, and lava - when it erupts.

    Volcanoes can be active, asleep or extinct. The active volcano is the one that erupted in historical times (the last several thousand years). A sleeping volcano is one that erupted in historical times and can erupt again. An extinct volcano is one that, according to scientists, will not erupt.

    Volcanoes can grow rapidly. Although some volcanoes are formed over thousands of years, others can grow during the night. For example, the slag cone of the volcano Parikutin appeared on the Mexican corn field on February 20, 1943. In a week it was five stories high, and by the end of the year it had grown to 336 meters. His growth was completed in 1952 and stopped at a mark of 424 meters. By the standards of geologists, it's pretty quick.

    About 20 volcanoes erupt right now. Somewhere in the world about 20 active volcanoes erupt while you are reading this. Some just start, others continue. 50-70 volcanoes erupted last year and 160 were active during the last decade. Geologists believe that over the past 10,000 years there have been about 1,300 eruptions. Three quarters of all eruptions occurred at the bottom of the ocean, and most of them continue to function, but geologists do not know about it. If to add underwater volcanoes, in total for last 10 000 years there were eruptions about 6000 volcanoes.

    Volcanoes are dangerous. But of course you have heard about this. Some of the most deadly volcanoes include Krakatoa, which erupted in 1883, causing a tsunami that killed 36,000 people. In the year 79 AD. e. Vesuvius exploded, having buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, killing 16,000 people. The Mount Seli volcano on the island of Martinique destroyed the city from 30,000 people in 1902. The most dangerous moment in the eruption of the volcano is pyroclastic flows that move along the side of the volcano at a speed of hundreds of kilometers per hour with a temperature of more than 1000 degrees Celsius.

    Super-volcanoes are really dangerous. Geologists measure volcanic eruptions using a volcanic explosive index that measures the amount of material released. The "small" eruption like St. Helens was 5 out of 8 points, spewing out a cubic kilometer of material. The largest eruption is Toba, which happened 73,000 years ago. It produced more than 1000 cubic kilometers of material and created a caldera 100 km long and 30 km wide. Explosion plunged the world into the ice age. According to the index, the eruption of Toba was estimated at eight.

    The highest volcano of the solar system is not on Earth. The highest volcano of the solar system is not on Earth, but on Mars. Mount Olympus is a giant shield volcano that rises to a height of 27 kilometers and is 550 kilometers across. Scientists believe that Mount Olympus could become so big, because on Mars there is no plate tectonics at all. Even one hot spot could swell for billions of years, pulling the volcano higher and higher.

    The highest and largest volcanoes on Earth are near. The highest volcano on Earth is Mauna Kea in Hawaii, its height is 4207 meters. It is slightly higher than the largest volcano on Earth, Mauna Loa, with a height of 4169 meters. Both are shield volcanoes that rise from the ocean floor. If you could measure Mauna Kea from the base in the ocean to the very peak, you would get 10 203 meters.

    The most remote point from the center of the earth is the volcano. Perhaps you think that the summit of Mount Everest is the most remote point from the center of the Earth, but it is not. In fact, this is the volcano Chimborazo in Ecuador. The fact is that the Earth revolves in space and is a geoid. The points on the equator are farther from the center of the Earth than at the poles. And Chimborazo is very close to the equator of the Earth. Although its height is "only" 6267 meters.
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