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Mount St. Helens

A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet's surface or crust, which allows hot, molten rock, ash, and gases to escape from below the surface. Violent explosive eruptions from such vents often produce craters or calderas and coat extensive areas in volcanic ash, while the lava from comparatively gentle effusive eruptions may eventually form large plains, cones or mountains.

Volcanoes are generally found where tectonic plates are pulled apart or come together. A mid-oceanic ridge, such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, hosts volcanoes caused by divergent tectonic plates pulling apart; the Pacific Ring of Fire contains many volcanoes caused by convergent tectonic plates coming together. By contrast, volcanoes are not commonly created at transform boundaries, where two tectonic plates slide past one another.

Volcanoes can be caused by mantle plumes. The resulting hotspots, for example at Hawaii, can occur far from plate boundaries. Hotspot volcanoes are also found elsewhere in the solar system, especially on rocky planets and moons. Intraplate volcanoes can also form where there is stretching and thinning of the Earth's crust, as in the Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field and the Rio Grande Rift in North America and the European Rhine Graben with its Eifel volcanoes.

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Craters of the Moon within Idaho
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a national monument and national preserve located in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho near Arco, Idaho. The features in this protected area are volcanic and represent one of the best preserved flood basalt areas in the continental United States. The Monument was established on May 2, 1924. In November 2000, a Presidential proclamation greatly expanded the Monument area. The National Park Service portions of the expanded Monument were designated as Craters of the Moon National Preserve in August 2002. It lies in parts of Blaine, Butte, Lincoln, Minidoka, and Power counties. The area is managed cooperatively by the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Monument and Preserve encompass three major lava fields and about 400 mi² (1,000 km²) of sagebrush steppe grasslands to cover a total area of 1117 mi² (2,892 km²). All three lava fields lie along the Great Rift of Idaho, with some of the best examples of open rift cracks in the world, including the deepest known on Earth) at 800 feet (240 m). There are excellent examples of almost every variety of basaltic lava as well as tree molds (cavities left by lava-incinerated trees), lava tubes (a type of cave), and many other volcanic features.


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George Julius Poulett Scrope
George Julius Poulett Scrope FRS (10 March 1797 – 19 January 1876) was an English geologist and political economist as well as a magistrate for Stroud in Gloucestershire.

He was the second son of J. Poulett Thompson of Waverley Abbey, Surrey. He was educated at Harrow, and for a short time at Pembroke College, Oxford, but in 1816 he entered St John's College, Cambridge, graduating BA in 1821. Through the influence of Edward Clarke and Adam Sedgwick became interested in mineralogy and geology.

During the winter of 1816–1817 he visited Naples, and was so keenly interested in Vesuvius that he started studying the volcano in 1818; and in the following year visited Etna and the Lipari Islands. In 1821 he began his study of the volcanic regions of central France. In 1825 he published Considerations on Volcanos, and in the following year was elected FRS.

In 1827 he issued his classic Memoir on the Geology of Central France, including the Volcanic formations of Auvergne, the Velay and the Vivarais, a quarto volume illustrated by maps and plates. The substance of this was reproduced in a revised and somewhat more popular form in The Geology and extinct Volcanos of Central France (1858). These books were the first widely published descriptions of the Chaîne des Puys, a chain of over 70 small volcanoes in the Massif Central.

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Carmelo Formation at Point Lobos

Volcanoes topics

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Core topics: Volcano  • Volcanology  • Igneous petrology  • Lava  • Magma  • Decade Volcanoes  • List of volcanoes  • Plate tectonics  • Hotspot

Types of volcanoes: Fissure vent  • Shield volcano  • Lava dome  • Cinder cone  • Stratovolcano  • Supervolcano  • Submarine volcano  • Subglacial volcano  • Mud volcano

Types of eruptions: (Overview)  • Strombolian  • Vulcanian  • Peléan  • Hawaiian  • Surtseyan  • Plinian  • Submarine  • Subglacial  • Phreatic

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Grand Prismatic Spring
Credit: Jim Peaco, National Park Service

Aerial view of Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. The spring is approximately 250 ft (76 m) by 300 ft (91 m) in size. The deep azure blue water in the center is sterile, and surrounded by a huge mat of algae and bacteria. The orange color is from the carotenoids they produce.

Selected quote

"This ground is hot enough to cook the Sunday roast!"

— John Seach, remarking on his boots melting whilst on the slope of Lopevi Volcano, 2000


Project collaboration

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The current Project collaboration is Mount Shasta.

The project collaboration is a drive to improve our coverage of an important volcano-related topic. Once the article has been improved significantly, a new collaboration is chosen. Please improve the article any way you can.

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  • Add the {{WikiProject Volcanoes}} message box to talk pages of articles within the scope of this project, including appropriate assessments, if needed.
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Featured work and other approved content

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Featured articles: 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens  • 2007–2008 Nazko earthquakes  • Amchitka  • Armero tragedy  • Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve  • Cerro Azul (Chile volcano)  • David A. Johnston  • Enceladus (moon)  • Geology of the Lassen volcanic area  • Io (moon)  • Loihi Seamount  • Mauna Kea  • Mauna Loa  • Metacomet Ridge  • Mono-Inyo Craters  • Mount Cayley volcanic field  • Mount St. Helens  • Mount Tambora  • Nevado del Ruiz  • Surtsey  • The Volcano (British Columbia)  • Triton (moon)  • Upper and Lower Table Rock  • Volcanism on Io  • Volcano (South Park)  • Yellowstone National Park

Featured lists: List of volcanoes in Indonesia  • List of volcanoes in the Hawaiian – Emperor seamount chain  • List of largest volcanic eruptions

Featured pictures: There are currently 43 volcano-related Featured pictures. A full gallery can be seen here.

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Good articles: Abyssal plain  • Amak Volcano  • Anahim hotspot  • Axial Seamount  • Ben Nevis  • Bowie Seamount  • Crater Lake  • Davidson Seamount  • Ferdinandea  • Gareloi Volcano  • Geyser  • Glacier Peak  • Hawaii hotspot  • Hualālai  • Kohala (mountain)  • Lake Toba  • Minoan eruption  • Mount Adams (Washington)  • Mount Bailey  • Mount Baker  • Mount Cleveland (Alaska)  • Mount Edziza volcanic complex  • Mount Garibaldi  • Mount Hood  • Mount Kenya  • Mount Rainier  • Mount Redoubt  • Mount Tehama  • Mount Thielsen  • Mount Vesuvius  • Peter I Island  • Roxy Ann Peak  • Rùm  • Sakurajima  • Sangay  • Silverthrone Caldera  • Staffa  • Types of volcanic eruptions  • Volcanic ash  • Weh Island  • Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field  • Yamsay Mountain

Valued pictures: A gallery of volcano-related valued pictures can be seen here.

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