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Non-explosive volcanism

NonExplosive Volcanism

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Effusive volcanism and plate tectonics
People associate volcanoes with spectacular explosive eruptions, yet most volcanoes erupt basalt, a fluid lava from the mantle that erupts effusively and forms flows. Most basaltic lava erupts on the ocean floor, along an undersea mountain chain called the mid-ocean ridge system. Basaltic lava also erupts at “hot spots,” where molten rock, or magma, forms in plumes of hot rock that rise from deep in the Earth to penetrate a moving plate above. Over time, a chain of volcanoes forms, such as the Hawaiian Islands, aligned along the direction of the plate’s movement.

For Educators

Topic: Earth Science

Subtopic: Volcanoes

Keywords: Volcanoes, Basalt, Plate tectonics, Lava, Volcanism, Volcanic eruptions

Audience: General