What is volcanism?

Volcanism is a concept linked to Vulcan, the god of fire and methane according to Roman mythology. For geology, it is the system that explains the formation of the globe from the action of internal fire.

Volcanoes are the passages that establish direct communication between the Earth’s surface and the deep levels of the crust. A volcano, therefore, is an opening usually found in mountains and which, every certain period of time, spews lava, ash, gases and smoke, in a process called eruption.

Specifically, it is established that there are three types of materials that are expelled to the surface when the eruption occurs: Lava, which is of the liquid type and gives rise to two types of volcanoes: conical and so-called shields. pyroclasts. It can be said that they are the solid part of the eruption and are formed from the lava clods that are generated. There are the most diverse types: blocks, lapilli, volcanic dust, volcanic bombs… Gases As the name suggests, they are the gaseous part of any volcanic eruption. Among them are fumaroles and solfataras or skunks. It is well known the phenomenon that gives rise to them, called geyser, which is when groundwater heats up reaching the boiling point and from there steam comes out through an orifice along with dissolved salts and water. These eruptions occur when magma (the mixture of molten rock and gases, among other components) that is under pressure begins to rise to the surface through the volcano’s chimney. Other volcano formations are fumaroles and parasitic cones. Among the types of volcanoes, it is possible to distinguish between a dormant or extinct volcano (when there are no records of eruptive activity) and an active volcano (those that record eruptive activity or that have recorded it recently). In addition to those mentioned, we must not forget the volcanic shields, the complex cones, the composite volcano or the lava plateaus. Supervolcanoes are known as the type of volcano that produces the largest eruptions on Earth. The volume of ejected magma often alters the climate for years and, of course, abruptly alters the landscape around the volcano. The types of volcanic eruptions will be determined by temperature, composition, elements dissolved in the magma and viscosity, for example. In addition to all this, it is important to highlight the existence of what is known as Io’s volcanism. This term refers to one of the satellites that the planet Jupiter has and which has the peculiarity of generating from volcanic pits through rivers of lava or sulfur dioxide plumes. Specifically, the scientific activities developed in this sense have made clear the existence of different types of eruptions, such as explosive or flow.

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