# Viscosity and Volcano Types

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1 20 LESSON Viscosity and Volcano Types This photo, taken in 1943 in Paricutin, Mexico, shows an eruption of the Paricutin volcano at night. Glowing hot, broken rocks outline the shape of the volcano, called a cinder cone. R. E. WILCOX/USGS/PROVIDED BY NGDC/NOAA, BOULDER, CO INTRODUCTION When a volcano erupts, a mixture of red-hot lava, rocks, and gases bursts into the atmosphere. Some volcanoes spew runny lava onto the earth s surface; this lava flows freely over wide areas. Other volcanoes ooze sticky lava that flows only a short distance. In Lesson 19, you learned that magma is melted rock beneath the earth s surface, and that when it reaches the earth s surface, it is called lava. The way in which magma and lava flow and whether fragments of lava and rock erupt from the volcano affect a volcano s shape and size. In this lesson, you will design an investigation to test how liquids flow and the conditions under which this flow changes. You will then relate your observations to lava flow and volcano type. OBJECTIVES FOR THIS LESSON Classify images of volcanoes on the basis of observable properties, including shape and size. Identify and compare how three different liquids flow. Observe changes in how two liquids flow when they are mixed with a solid. Observe changes in how two liquids flow when they are heated. Develop a working definition for the word viscosity. Relate the viscosity of lava to the type of volcano formed, and model the formation of each type. 224 STC/MS C ATA S T R O P H I C E V E N T S

2 Getting Started Review Lesson 19 with your class by describing the difference between magma and lava. With the class, discuss how you think the properties of magma and lava might affect a volcano s shape or size. Collect from your teacher one set of Volcano Cards. Work with your group to classify the volcanoes on the basis of their observable properties, such as shape and size. Share your classifications with the class. Explain why you classified the volcanoes as you did. Return your cards to the teacher. Why do you think volcanoes have different shapes and sizes? Discuss this with your class. To test how the flow of lava and magma affect volcano type, you will investigate the flow of three different liquids. MATERIALS FOR LESSON 20 For your group 1 tote tray with lid 1 copy of Student Sheet 20.1a: Investigating the Viscosity of Liquids Planning Sheet 1 copy of Student Sheet 20.1b: Investigating the Viscosity of Liquids Group Data and Observations (or notebook data table) 1 set of 9 Volcano Cards Sample substances (selections will differ for each group): 1 cup of dark corn syrup, with lid 1 cup of shampoo, with lid 1 cup of water, with lid 1 cup of sand, with lid 1 stopwatch 1 ruler 2 sheets of waxed paper 1 measuring spoon 2 coffee stirrers 2 empty plastic cups Paper (to cover work areas) STC/MS C ATA S T R O P H I C E V E N T S 225

5 7. 8. Your teacher will now model the formation of three types of volcanoes. Compare the model volcanoes with the photographs in the reading selection and on the cards. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this model? Look ahead to Lessons 21 and 22, in which you will investigate how cooling magma and lava form rocks. 228 STC/MS C ATA S T R O P H I C E V E N T S

6 Volcano TYPES Scientists classify volcanoes into three basic categories on the basis of shape and size. Let s take a closer look at these types of volcanoes. Shield Volcanoes While many people think of volcanic eruptions as being explosive, many volcanic areas produce quiet, oozing lava. Fissures and hot spots are two examples. Fissures are long fractures in the earth s crust. Instead of erupting from one central vent, or opening, lava erupts gently like a fountain from the fissure in a long line. Fissures normally form in areas where two plates separate, such as along a midocean ridge. Like fissures, hot spots produce quiet eruptions. Most hot spots form under a plate instead D. LITTLE/USGS Shield volcanoes are flat on top and broadly sloping. This photo shows Mauna Loa, a shield volcano in Hawaii. STC/MS C ATA S T R O P H I C E V E N T S 229

7 D. LITTLE/USGS Composite volcanoes form from alternating eruptions of lava and ash. This photo shows Mt. Mageik volcano as seen from the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. of along its boundaries. Other hot spots coincide with midocean ridges. Both fissures and hot spots produce a runny lava that spreads out to form a wide, broadly sloping volcano. These volcanoes are called shield volcanoes because they resemble a warrior s shield. The slopes of a shield volcano are rarely steep; these volcanoes are wide and flat. Over thousands of years, shield volcanoes can reach massive size, for example, 9000 kilometers high and 193 kilometers wide. The Hawaiian Islands and Iceland are examples of shield volcanoes. Composite Volcanoes Composite volcanoes are tall and pointed. They are some of the most picturesque volcanoes in the world because of their height and snowcapped summits. They form from alternating This cross-section shows how repeated layers of flowing lava form shield volcanoes. This cross-section shows how alternating layers of cinders and lava form a composite volcano. 230 STC/MS C ATA S T R O P H I C E V E N T S

8 J. P. LOCKWOOD/USGS Pu u ka Pele in Hawaii is a cinder cone volcano. It is only 95 meters high, but the diameter of the crater at the top is 400 meters. eruptions of lava and ash. Steep near the summit, a composite volcano is flat toward the base. The lava is sticky and does not flow far before it solidifies. These tall volcanoes usually form where two plates collide and one overrides the other. Thick magma and water from the sinking oceanic plate cause the volcano to be explosive. Water dissolves within the magma and travels upward as small bubbles, like the bubbles in a carbonated soft drink. When the magma explodes from the volcano, it breaks the lava and rocks along the vent into pieces. Alternating layers of lava and fragmented rock pile up. Mt. St. Helens in Washington state and Mt. Fuji in Japan are composite volcanoes. within the volcano into small pieces. In other cases, the lava in the air may harden and fall as fragments. These small pieces are called cinders. These cinders accumulate around the opening, or vent, of the volcano. These volcanoes tend to be explosive, which is why the rock breaks into fragments. Cinder cones can also ooze lava at the base of the cone. Eldfell in Iceland and Sunset Crater are cinder cone volcanoes. This cross-section shows how layers of cinders form a cinder cone. Cinder Cone Volcanoes Cinder cone volcanoes are smaller than shield and composite volcanoes. If the eruption contains thick magma, the gas pressure shatters the rock STC/MS C ATA S T R O P H I C E V E N T S 231

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