Magmais less dense than the surrounding rock and also rises approximately the surface ar through cracks and also crevices under the Earth"s surfacecausing one eruption the lava.


The silica contents of the magma determines just how thick the magma is, how easily it flows and how easily liquified gases in ~ the magmacan escape; as such the silica content determines the characteristics of the volcano eruption and the shape and also size the the resulting volcano cone.

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Magmawith short silica contents is an extremely fluid and also easily erupts ~ above the surface through cracks and crevices in ~ the surface. Over time the class of lava build up a volcanic cone.Low silicavolcanoes are defined by "quiet" eruptions. Lava is maybe to conveniently flow out of the ground. These eruptions praltoalsimce.orgce lots of lava, but very little, if any, ash. Gas conveniently escapes native the lava.Over time short silicaeruptionsbuild a huge broad cone.



A common low silica eruptionpraltoalsimce.orgces large amounts that lava.

Tectonic setup for short Silica Eruptions incorporate Spreading Centers such together the Mid-Atlantic Ridge or afri Rift Zone and Aseismic Ridges or warm Spots such as the Hawaiian Islands.

Flood Basalts

If, however, the lava is very low in silica, the lava is no thick sufficient to build a cone at all and it will circulation out end the Earth"s surface lot like a flood. The bypraltoalsimce.orgcts that this circulation are typically referred to as flood basalts.

Between 17 million and 6 million years ago the Columbia flow flood basalts covered component of the surface ar of Washington, Idaho and Oregon to a depth the 9,000 ft.

Volcanic Eruptions: High Silica

Lava v high silica contents is thick and also viscous and also does not conveniently flow. Lava rises up toward the surface however is also thick to squeeze v the cracks and fissures in the Earth.

As lava proceeds to rise upward, pressure continues to build. Gas consisted of in the lava is no released since it is "trapped" in the viscous fluid. Push will proceed to build under the volcano till it over the strength of the overlying surface material. In ~ this point the lava will explode outward lot as champagne indigenous a bottle when the cork is released.

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These species of eruptions are really destructive and also cause numerous deaths. The tectonic settingthat createsexplosive eruptions is a subduction zone. Recent explosive eruptions include: Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Pinatubo and Monserrat. The 4drawings below illustratehow a high silicaeruption occurs.