What is a volcano?
A volcano is a mountain that opens downward to a pool of molten rock below the surface of the earth. When pressure builds up, eruptions occur. Gases and rock shoot up through the opening and spill over or fill the air with lava fragments. Eruptions can cause lateral blasts, lava flows, hot ash flows, mudslides, avalanches, falling ash and floods. Volcano eruptions have been known to knock down entire forests. An erupting volcano can trigger tsunamis, flash floods, earthquakes, mudflows and rockfalls.
How do they form?
Volcanoes are formed when magma from within the Earth's upper mantle works its way to the surface. At the surface, it erupts to form lava flows and ash deposits. Over time as the volcano continues to erupt, it will get bigger and bigger.
Why do volcanoes erupt?
The Earth's crust is made up of huge slabs called plates, which fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. These plates sometimes move. The friction causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions near the edges of the plates. The theory that explains this process is called plate tectonics.
Try this classic experiment in which a chemical reaction between the baking soda and the vinegar produces carbon dioxide leading to overflowing bubbles.
You will need:
- A volcano - depending on how long you want to spend on the volcano you can either make it out of paper mache which will take longer, or you can use clay or simply a mound of dirt from outside.
- A 35mm film container or a similar size container.
- Red and yellow food coloring (optional)
- Liquid dish washing soap
- Baking soda
- Put the container into your homemade volcano at the top. Build the paper mache, clay or wet dirt around the container so that only a small part of the neck of the container shows.
- Add two spoonfuls of baking soda to the container.
- Add about a spoonful of dish soap.
- Add about 5 drops each of the red and yellow food coloring.
For the eruption:
Add about 2 tablespoons of vinegar into the container and watch what your volcano come alive!
Watch the video here.