Describe the processes that form volcanoes.
Volcanoes are a vibrant manifestation of plate tectonics processes. Volcanoes are common along convergent and divergent plate boundaries. Volcanoes are also found within lithospheric plates away from plate boundaries. Wherever mantle is able to melt, volcanoes may be the result.
See if you can give a geological explanation for the locations of all the volcanoes in figure 1. What is the Pacific Ring of Fire? Why are the Hawaiian volcanoes located away from any plate boundaries? What is the cause of the volcanoes along the mid-Atlantic ridge?
Volcanoes erupt because mantle rock melts. This is the first stage in creating a volcano. Remember from the chapter “Rocks” that mantle may melt if temperature rises, pressure lowers, or water is added. Be sure to think about how melting occurs in each of the following volcanic settings.
What You’ll Learn to Do
- Describe various volcanic processess at plate boundaries
- Understand the development of hotspots and their common locations
The learning activities for this section include the following:
- Reading: Volcanoes at Plate Boundaries
- Reading: Volcanoes Hotspots
- Reading: Volcano Formation
- Self Check: The Formation of Volcanoes