Mount St. Helens

When do volcanoes erupt?


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Volcanoes are formed when there is a great stress inside the earth's crust and the pressure of magma reaches so high that it finds its way upward causing an eruption. Sometimes the magma chamber breaks its sides and only reaches to the flank or summit of volcano and sometimes reaches to the surface causing an eruption. In the volcanoes which are not much active supply the magma from the deeper parts of the earth is not sufficient to cause eruption so most of the times crystals forms and they go down at the bottom releasing gas in the form of bubbles which come to the top of chamber and sometimes the pressure created by these gas bubbles are enough to erupt a volcano or just wait there for a little more push which they get from the next new magma formed within the earth. The heat just triggers the magma for eruption which was there for a long time.

Magma is the melted rocks deep in the earth crust. The rocks melt because of great heat inside and forms a thick liquid called magma and when it comes to the surface it is called as lava and flows into the air in the form of ashes etc.

If the volcanic eruption is explosive then the matter forms a cloud of hot tephron. The things coming in its way are almost destroyed. Ashes which are released in the sky fell on the earth in the form of powdery snow and it doesn't melts. A huge mass of snow can cause harm to the vegetation, living organism and human beings.

The intensity of explosion depends upon the thickness of magma. The gases cannot escape easily. Hence they are accumulates inside till they get enough heat energy for the explosion.

Atom Research May Help Detect Volcanoes And Oceans

Uncovering Europa's ice to reveal the moons true surface will take extraordinary new technologies

Pasadena - Jul 24, 2002

Breakthrough research on waves of ultra-cold atoms may lead to sophisticated atom lasers that might eventually predict volcanic eruptions on Earth and map a probable subsurface ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa.

The atoms were manipulated to form tidy bundles of waves, called solitons, which retained their shape and strength. They were created in a laboratory at Rice University, Houston, under a grant from NASA's Biological and Physical Research Program through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Normally, when a wave forms -- whether in water, light or atoms -- it tends to spread out as it travels. Not so with a soliton wave. It maintains its perfect shape without spreading. In the Rice University research, the solitons are localized bundles of atom waves.

Atom-wave solitons could be used in advanced lasers, which use atoms instead of light photons. Dr. Randall Hulet, the Rice University physics and astronomy professor who led the research team, said atom lasers may have many applications, some not yet envisioned.

"Forty years ago, no one imagined that lasers would be used to play music in our cars or scan our food at the grocery store checkout," said Hulet. "We're getting our first glimpse of a wondrous and sometimes surprising set of quantum phenomena, and there's no way to know exactly what may come out of it."

Hulet said atom lasers might improve instruments that study gravity variations to locate and measure underground water, minerals, oil, caves and volcanic magma on Earth.

"Eventually, atom-wave lasers may enhance sensors for studying Earth and various bodies in the solar system," said Dr. Lute Maleki, principal investigator for the Quantum Gravity Gradient Project at JPL. "With these advanced sensors, we'll be able to produce a 3-D map of underground features. By measuring levels of underground magma, for example, scientists may be able to predict volcanic eruptions. This technology could be used on a spacecraft to map the ocean believed to lie beneath Europa's icy crust."

In addition, atom lasers may yield extremely precise gyroscope navigation for air and space travel. Computers would run faster if atom lasers were used to write directly onto computer chips.

The first recorded observation of a soliton wave was in 1834, when a man in Scotland saw a barge stop suddenly in a canal. This created a large bow wave, which traveled at about 8 miles per hour without shrinking or spreading. The man followed the wave on horseback for about a mile until he lost sight of it in the windings of the canal.

Scientists now know that this soliton water wave formed because of particular relationships between the depth and width of the canal.

In their laboratory, Hulet and his team confined lithium atoms within magnetic fields, cooled them with lasers to one billion times colder than room temperature, and confined them in a narrow beam of light that pushed them into a single file formation. The atoms formed a type of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate, a quantum state where classical laws of physics go out the window and new behaviors govern the atoms. Instead of hitting each other and bouncing off like bumper cars, the atoms join together and function as one entity. The team actually observed a "soliton train" of multiple waves.

Hulet co-authored a paper on the research, which appeared in the May 9 issue of the journal Nature, with Rice University graduate students Kevin Strecker and Guthrie Partridge, and Dr. Andrew Truscott, formerly a post-doctoral researcher at Rice and currently on the faculty at Australian National University in Canberra.