Volcanoes are at once awesome and terrifying. They’re the exhaust pipes of Mother Earth and their power is something to behold, enough to radically alter the climate of the Earth. Iceland has 130 of these “exhaust pipes” because of the fact that it sits between two clashing tectonic plates. Before moving on further, let’s first discuss what happens when a typical volcano erupts.
The actual process of an eruption is akin to how a bomb explodes: a thick layer of magma and large amounts of gas build up under the surface of the volcano and when a critical point is reached, the pressure of the gas ejects everything sitting above it high up into the air. Depending on the thickness of the layer of magma and the amount of gas trapped within, the ejected magma (which can go up to 1200 degrees Celsius), debris and steam can completely decimate large swaths of land in a matter of minutes.
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