All About Volcanoes!

A volcano is an opening in the earth through which incredibly hot, melted rock flows up from beneath the surface. This sometimes explodes out of the volcano, which can be risky for people living nearby. Deep below the surface of the Earth, the lower you dig, the warmer it gets, until a layer is reached where some of the rocks become hot enough to melt. They turn into a burning, flowing substance called magma. Pressure sometimes builds inside the earth, pushing magma up through a crack in the surface, and this is how volcanoes form. Once magma bursts out of the top of a volcano it has a different name. Scientists call it lava, and different sorts of lava are found in different kinds of volcanoes. Even though volcanoes are dangerous, many people in the world live near them.

Volcanoes come in different shapes. Some are mountains with a hole in the top; others can be flatter or smaller. Not all volcanoes are likely to explode, sending burning hot lava everywhere. Volcanoes which have a lot of water vapor inside them, mixed in with the lava, are more likely to blow up. When a volcano blows up scientists say it is erupting. Other volcanoes do not have much water vapor in their lava and they are usually quieter. Their lava slowly oozes out instead of exploding suddenly.

People living near volcanoes can grow wonderful crops on the fertile soil which is found there. The soil is rich in minerals from rocks that were broken apart when the volcano erupted thousands of years ago. Many people are interested in volcanoes and will travel to see them erupting. This means that people who make their homes near volcanoes can sometimes make a living looking after tourists. People will probably always choose to live near volcanoes, no matter how dangerous they are.