Volcanoes make new land

How are volcanoes formed?

The earth's crust of our planet is by no means rigid, but broken and is reminiscent of a patchwork quilt: Several plates of crust float on the surface. When these collide or move apart, volcanoes are created

How volcanoes are formed

The earth's crust, the outermost shell of our planet, has broken into individual plates. Sometimes these continental plates collapse. As one plate sinks below the other, the water contained in the lower plate evaporates, rises and ensures that the rock above melts more easily. As magma it rises to the surface and forms gigantic volcanoes.

1. Tectonic plates diverge

The top layer of the earth, the earth's crust, is made up of tectonic plates. They float like rafts on the hot, liquid rock of the earth's mantle. Move to the Limits two plates away from each other, a gap is formed through which liquid rock can rise from the interior of the earth. This is how, for example, the Nyiragongo originated in Africa.

2: Plates plunge into the depths

At the plate boundaries it can also happen that one plate dips under another. In the process, the rock of the plate on top melts and it is formed magmathat rises. If it penetrates the plate, a new volcano is formed. Around eight out of ten volcanoes worldwide are created in this way.

3: Plates burn out

Sometimes hot rocks burn in from the earth's mantle hole in the middle of a plate. Then magma can swell to the surface. Such places are called "hotspots" (translated: "hot spots"). A famous example is Hawaii: The archipelago was created by a hotspot on the ocean floor and grew out of the sea over time.