The Philippines are an arc of volcanic
islands located in a zone where two tectonic plates come together.
Pinatubo, a large volcano on the Philippine isle of Luzon, is
a stratovolcano, or composite volcano. Stratovolcano is the
name given to volcanoes whose repeated eruptions have left layers
of volcanic materials built-up on top of each other, forming
a mountain. The magma within this type of volcanic mountain
is viscous (thick) but highly gas-charged, defining it as an
explosive volcano. It erupts in a violent fashion and causes
hazards from both the flow of magma and from the debris it fires
into the atmosphere. Prior to 1990, Pinatubo was an inactive,
or dormant volcano.
To prepare your emergency response team
you must investigate the dangers the people of Luzon faced during
Operation Mt. Pinatubo. The volcano on Montserrat is much like
Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines. They are both stratovolcanoes
located in tropical areas. The Mt. Pinatubo eruption provides
plenty of historical data for you to study. Use your knowledge
of Earth system science to analyze the destruction from the
eruption. Like the people of Luzon, the people of Montserrat
may need your help.
1) Volcanic activity often occurs near the
boundaries of tectonic plates. Explain why this may be.
2) What is a stratovolcano? Describe the magma
within a stratovolcano.
3) According to this article, what is meant
by an “explosive” volcano?