Volcanoes look like mountains, but they’re not.

A volcano is an opening in the earth’s crust. When a volcano erupts, hot gases and molten rock (liquid) rise from deep within the earth to find the surface.

Parts of a volcano

Volcanoes look like mountains, but inside, volcanoes are very different. These are the parts that make a volcano a volcano:

Magma: is a molten or liquid rock inside the earth.

Magmatic chamber: it is the place that houses the magma.

Chimney: it is a conduit that connects the magmatic chamber with the crater.

Crater: it is the hole at the top of the volcano where the magma is expelled.

Lava: when a volcano erupts, the magma comes out through the chimney to the crater, once it is on the surface, it is called lava. Lava hardens as it cools to form igneous rocks. Some examples of igneous rocks are basalt and granite.

Volcanic activity

A volcano can be active, dormant, or extinct. An active volcano is one that has recently erupted or is currently erupting. A dormant volcano is one that has not erupted for many years, but is capable of erupting. An extinct volcano is one that volcanologists (scientists who study volcanoes) believe will not erupt again because its last eruption occurred hundreds of years ago.

Did you know . . . ?

✔ The word volcano comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.
✔ Pumice is a very special volcanic (igneous) rock that can float on water. It is also used in beauty salons to remove calluses from the feet.
✔ Volcanoes are found on planets other than Earth. An example is Olympus Mons on Mars.