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Why does Kentucky not have volcanoes?


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September 12, 2009 12:32PM

Volcanoes are typically found only where the Earth's tectonic plates are colliding in such a way as to create channels (tubes) that allow magma (molten rock) to rise to the surface. These volcanic zones are largely found in the "Ring of Fire" which surrounds the Pacific Plate, and in various mid-ocean sites where the Earth's crust is relatively thin. Kentucky sits atop a tectonically inactive region with a thick crust and well within the vast North American Plate. For a volcano to erupt there, the plate would have to undergo a fracture or some other disruption, a highly unlikely event at this point in geophysical history.