Portal:Volcanoes

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Sabancaya volcano erupting, Peru in 2017
A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface.

On Earth, volcanoes are most often found where tectonic plates are diverging or converging, and because most of Earth's plate boundaries are underwater, most volcanoes are found underwater. For example, a mid-ocean ridge, such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, has volcanoes caused by divergent tectonic plates whereas the Pacific Ring of Fire has volcanoes caused by convergent tectonic plates. Volcanoes can also form where there is stretching and thinning of the crust's plates, such as in the East African Rift and the Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field and Rio Grande rift in North America. Volcanism away from plate boundaries has been postulated to arise from upwelling diapirs from the core–mantle boundary, 3,000 kilometers (1,900 mi) deep within Earth. This results in hotspot volcanism, of which the Hawaiian hotspot is an example. Volcanoes are usually not created where two tectonic plates slide past one another.

Large eruptions can affect atmospheric temperature as ash and droplets of sulfuric acid obscure the Sun and cool Earth's troposphere. Historically, large volcanic eruptions have been followed by volcanic winters which have caused catastrophic famines.

Other planets besides Earth have volcanoes. For example, volcanoes are very numerous on Venus. In 2009, a paper was published suggesting a new definition for the word ‘volcano’ that includes processes such as cryovolcanism. It suggested that a volcano be defined as ‘an opening on a planet or moon’s surface from which magma, as defined for that body, and/or magmatic gas is erupted.’

This article mainly covers volcanoes on Earth. See § Volcanoes on other celestial bodies and Cryovolcano for more information. (Full article...)

Photograph of the eruption column, May 18, 1980, taken by Austin Post

On March 27, 1980, a series of volcanic explosions and pyroclastic flows began at Mount St. Helens in Skamania County, Washington, United States. A series of phreatic blasts occurred from the summit and escalated until a major explosive eruption took place on May 18, 1980, at 8:32 am. The eruption, which had a volcanic explosivity index of 5, was the first to occur in the contiguous United States since the much smaller 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak in California. It has often been declared the most disastrous volcanic eruption in U.S. history.

The eruption was preceded by a two-month series of earthquakes and steam-venting episodes caused by an injection of magma at shallow depth below the volcano that created a large bulge and a fracture system on the mountain's north slope. An earthquake at 8:32:11 am PDT (UTC−7) on May 18, 1980, caused the entire weakened north face to slide away, a sector collapse which was the largest subaerial landslide in recorded history. This allowed the partly molten rock, rich in high-pressure gas and steam, to suddenly explode northward toward Spirit Lake in a hot mix of lava and pulverized older rock, overtaking the landslide. An eruption column rose 80,000 feet (24 km; 15 mi) into the atmosphere and deposited ash in 11 U.S. states and various Canadian provinces. At the same time, snow, ice, and several entire glaciers on the volcano melted, forming a series of large lahars (volcanic mudslides) that reached as far as the Columbia River, nearly 50 miles (80 km) to the southwest. Less severe outbursts continued into the next day, only to be followed by other large, but not as destructive, eruptions later that year. Thermal energy released during the eruption was equal to 26 megatons of TNT. (Full article...)

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The Volcano

General images

The following are images from various volcano-related articles on Wikipedia.

Selected biography - show another

Glicken at work, 1980s

Harry Glicken (March 7, 1958 – June 3, 1991) was an American volcanologist. He researched Mount St. Helens in the United States before and after its 1980 eruption, and was very distraught about the death of volcanologist David A. Johnston, who was Glicken's mentor and supervisor in Spring 1980 at Mount St. Helens. Glicken was initially assigned to the USGS observation post in the weeks leading up to the eruption but was called away the night before the eruption.

In 1991, while conducting avalanche research on Mount Unzen in Japan, Glicken and fellow volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft were killed by a pyroclastic flow. His remains were found four days later and were cremated in accordance with his parents' request. Glicken and Johnston remain the only American volcanologists known to have died in volcanic eruptions.

Despite a long-term interest in working for the United States Geological Survey, Glicken never received a permanent post there because there was a hiring freeze for federal agencies when he graduated with his PhD. While conducting research from sponsorships granted by the National Science Foundation and other organizations, Glicken accrued expertise in the field of volcanic debris avalanches. He also wrote several major publications on the topic, including his doctoral dissertation based on his research at Mount St. Helens titled "Rockslide-debris Avalanche of May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens Volcano, Washington" that initiated widespread interest in the phenomenon. (Full article...)

Selected picture

The moon Io.
The moon Io.
Credit: NASA

Io moon taken by NASA's Galileo probe. This image shows two volcanic eruptions. The one on the horizon is 140 km (87 mi) high, the other is 75 km (47 mi) high. Io is the innermost of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter. It is named after Io, one of Zeus's many love interests in Greek mythology.

Selected quote

"No one told us we needed a gas mask."

— Tourist visiting the highly active Ambrym volcano, South West Pacific.


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Featured articles: 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens  • 2007–2008 Nazko earthquakes  • Amchitka  • Armero tragedy  • Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve  • Cerro Azul (Chile volcano)  • David A. Johnston  • Enceladus (moon)  • Geology of the Lassen volcanic area  • Io (moon)  • Kamaʻehuakanaloa Seamount  • Mauna Kea  • Mauna Loa  • Metacomet Ridge  • Mono-Inyo Craters  • Mount Cayley volcanic field  • Mount St. Helens  • Mount Tambora  • Nevado del Ruiz  • Surtsey  • The Volcano (British Columbia)  • Triton (moon)  • Upper and Lower Table Rock  • Volcanism on Io  • Volcano (South Park)  • Yellowstone National Park

Featured lists: List of volcanoes in Indonesia  • List of volcanoes in the Hawaiian – Emperor seamount chain  • List of largest volcanic eruptions

Featured pictures: There are currently 43 volcano-related Featured pictures. A full gallery can be seen here.

Good articles: Abyssal plain  • Amak Volcano  • Anahim hotspot  • Axial Seamount  • Ben Nevis  • Bowie Seamount  • Crater Lake  • Davidson Seamount  • Ferdinandea  • Gareloi Volcano  • Geyser  • Glacier Peak  • Hawaii hotspot  • Hualālai  • Kohala (mountain)  • Lake Toba  • Minoan eruption  • Mount Adams (Washington)  • Mount Bailey  • Mount Baker  • Mount Cleveland (Alaska)  • Mount Edziza volcanic complex  • Mount Garibaldi  • Mount Hood  • Mount Kenya  • Mount Rainier  • Mount Redoubt  • Mount Tehama  • Mount Thielsen  • Mount Vesuvius  • Peter I Island  • Roxy Ann Peak  • Rùm  • Sakurajima  • Sangay  • Silverthrone Caldera  • Staffa  • Types of volcanic eruptions  • Volcanic ash  • Weh Island  • Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field  • Yamsay Mountain

Valued pictures: A gallery of volcano-related valued pictures can be seen here.

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  • Add the {{WikiProject Volcanoes}} message box to talk pages of articles within the scope of this project, including appropriate assessments, if needed.
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