Mount Sinabung volcano located in North Sumatra unleashed its fury & has erupted a few times since Monday, spewing a huge cloud of ash & smoke miles into the sky. Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre (PVMBG) has reminded the public to steer clear of a 3 km radius from the crater, designated as the danger zone.
Mount Sinabung erupted in 2010 after being dormant for 400 years & has been active 2013 onwards with a deadly eruption in 2016.
Indonesia is home to about 130 active volcanoes due to its position along the ‘Ring of Fire’.
What is the ‘Ring of Fire’?
? The ‘Ring of Fire’ is a 40,000 km horseshoe shaped zone (also known as the Circum-Pacific belt), in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where several earthquakes & volcanic eruptions occur due to the amount of movement of tectonic plates in the area.
How & why do volcanoes erupt?
? Volcanic eruptions happen when hot molten rock (magma), ash & gases rises & escapes from an opening in the Earth’s surface.
? Magma is formed from the melting of mantle in the Earth.
? The gas bubbles inside the magma expand, causing the pressure to build up.
? This pressure pushes on weak spots in the earth’s crust, causing the runny magma to erupt through openings in the earth’s crust before flowing onto its surface as lava.
? Volcanoes also form when tectonic plates collide or where one plate is pushed beneath another.
? Since magma is lighter than rock, it rises towards the Earth’s surface & erupts as lava through the fracture of the plates or where they separate.
? Sometimes when water touches the super-hot magma it generates steam (the trapped steam builds up enough pressure to cause an explosion)
?The lave spills down slope & when th molten rock & ash solidify as they cool, the distinctive volcano ‘cone’ shape is formed..
What are the 3 different stages of volcanoes?
Active: One that has recently erupted.
Dormant: One that hasn’t erupted in a long time with the possibility of erupting in the future.
Extinct: One that erupted ages ago with barely any chances of erupting again.
What does the smoke billowing from a volcano mostly consist of?
The ‘smoke’ is a mix of mostly water vapour, carbon dioxide, and sulfur gases (and ash, during an eruption and depending on the volcano).
Your DIY volcano!
? Fill a bottle with two-thirds warm water.
? Add a few drops of food colouring.
? Add 1 spoonful of dish soap.
? Add 2 spoonfuls baking soda.
? Slowly pour about an ounce vinegar into the bottle & watch your volcano erupt!