How Volcanoes Work

Dynamics of Eruptions 


This section examines the variability of volcanic environments and the physical and chemical controls on eruption dynamics. Environments of volcanism are discussed in terms of plate tectonic theory. Image below is courtesy of Jeffrey Hulen.

Eruption Dynamics

SeaWiFS satellite image, Mt. Etna
Mt. Etna is Europe's highest volcano at 10,900 ft (3,516 m). This SeaWiFS satellite image was taken on Monday October 28 one day after Mt. Etna began to erupt. The image is taken from the perspective of looking across the Mediterranean Sea, toward the west - Albania and Greece are beneath Italy's "heel." The red arrows show the ash plume from the eruption moving to the south. Lava from the eruption toppled some ski resort facilities and power lines, but it failed to reach any of the several towns and villages, which lie all too close to the flanks of Mt. Etna. Courtesy of NASA.