The Mystery of Volcanoes




In ancient times, people thought that the eruptions of volcanoes were due to an angry god the god of fire. There were many myths and stories that ancient people made up to help explain this wondrous mystery of volcanic eruptions. But all we know is that the people who walked barefoot across warm volcanic ash left a lasting impression from their footprints; prints that fossilized and were dated more than 3 million years ago. One can only imagine what these people thought of as they witnessed a red firery and orange liquid blown from the mountain tops. Did they question what caused the ground to shake and spew out hot melted liquid? Is the mountain bleeding out? What did they think when the ash blotted out the sun? Did they fear that it was end of the world?

Today, scientists understand that change is always taking place on Earth. When you look up towards the sun at different times of the day, you too can see that the sun appears to change position in the sky. Seasons, weather, the pattern of a rivers or lakes change due to the earths surface. However, such changes are not as powerful or as frightening as an earthquake, tsunami or volcanic eruption. This unit will be focusing on the mysterious ways of volcanoes.

As you go through this WebQuest, you will investigate and be able to explain the following:

  • Types of volcanoes
  • Characteristics and features of Volcanoes
  • Determine the formation of volcanoes that include craters, calderas and lava plateaus.   
  • Determine the cause and effects of volcanic eruptions in relation to the magma and lava movement.
  • Describe the four types of lava and pyroclastic volcanic material
  • Explain the relationship between volcanoes and plate tectonics.
  • Identify methods used in predicting volcanic eruptions and be able to outline safety and evacuation procedures.



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