Earthquakes and volcanoes relationship

Are Volcanoes and Earthquakes Related? - Seeker

earthquakes and volcanoes relationship

Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are fascinating and dramatic natural events, here you can learn more about the science behind them and how they work. In general, a volcanic eruption is accompanied by earthquakes. Read this ScienceStruck article to learn more about the relationship between these two natural. In a very general sense, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions tend to be clumped Even Charles Darwin mused about the connection in


They usually form mountains or mountain-like landscapes after the ejected materials cool down. They can occur in any part of the Earth's surface, either in land or seas and oceans. Volcanoes are classified into active eruptivedormant presently not activeand extinct not eruptive types based on the activeness of a particular volcano.

earthquakes and volcanoes relationship

They are further classified into six different types - shield, cinder, submarine, subglacial, stratovolcano, and supervolcano, depending upon the mode of ejection and other features. How are Earthquakes and Volcanoes Related The close relationship between temblors and volcanic outbursts is evident from the maps depicting the locations prone to both these phenomena. If you compare the maps that illustrate earthquake zones and volcanic zones, you will find them matching each other.

earthquakes and volcanoes relationship

This is because the main theory behind both these natural calamities lies in the plate tectonics. The planet Earth comprises irregular-shaped and varying-sized plates, which constantly move at different speeds.

earthquakes and volcanoes relationship

To be precise, the plates drift over the mantle layer of the Earth. Consequently, magma is generated along the plate boundaries.

All about Earthquakes and Volcanoes — Department of Earth Sciences

When the plates collide, move apart, or slide each other, it leads to generation and accumulation of pressure strainwhich when released causes earthquakes. The strongest earthquakes are manifested during the plate collision, while the slowest earthquakes are observed when plates move apart from each other.

  • Relationship between Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions
  • How earthquakes might trigger faraway volcanoes

Similar to earthquakes, volcanic activity is observed when the plates are divergent move apart or convergent move towards each other. In such plate movements, the magma present in the plate boundaries may rise to the Earth's surface, leading to volcanic eruptions. Divergent plates may cause long volcanic rifts, whereas convergent plates result in individual volcanic eruptions.

earthquakes and volcanoes relationship

In addition, both activities occur within a plate, which are referred to as intraplate earthquakes and volcanoes, respectively. These include the idea that shockwaves from the quakes can cause mushy semisolid magmas to liquefy into something more likely to erupt, or even that earthquakes can accelerate the growth of bubbles in magma, which can increase magma pressures.

But no one has quite managed to explain why only some volcanoes seem affected by earthquakes, why their responses can take anywhere from days to months, and why the events can vary from tiny bursts of gas to full-blown eruptions. He explains that over time, volcanologists have developed a consensus that the potential for a connection between quakes and eruptions is likely determined by the state of the volcano before the earthquake, along with the presence of bubbly magma.

Volcanologists have now proposed a new trigger mechanism: Sloshing—the movement of a surface of liquid—is a well-studied issue in engineering.

Tectonic Plates, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes | PBS LearningMedia

Trucks carrying liquids such as petroleum must have specially designed tanks to withstand the sloshing fluid inside. Fractures and roof collapse can sometimes occur in static petroleum storage tanks after the ground motion from earthquakes moves the liquids inside. Inspired by these observations, volcanologist Atsuko Namiki of Hiroshima University in Japan and colleagues wondered what kind of effect earthquakes might have on a different contained liquid—volcanic magma.

To find out, the researchers simulated the effect of earthquake shockwaves on a magma chamber in their laboratory, using a rectangular tank attached to a shaking table. To slosh, a liquid must not have too many crystals, however. In magma chambers that are full, however, sloshing may also occur between liquids of different densities, with the lighter liquid giving the other room to move.

earthquakes and volcanoes relationship

Such liquid layering is believed to be common in magma chambers, where foamlike bubbly magma overlies denser magma. For each setup, the researchers conducted a variety of tests. Although fluid sloshing in a magma reservoir would not be powerful enough to overcome the strength of the surrounding rocks, the team found a different effect at play.

All about Earthquakes and Volcanoes

In the foam layers, this deformed the bubbles, smearing them together until they became interconnected—causing the foam to collapse. Thin foams with larger bubbles were more susceptible to collapse.

Earthquakes and Volcanoes

In a real volcano, the escape of hot gases from collapsed foamy magma in a closed reservoir could increase heat transfer to the surrounding rock, increase magma pressure, and even trigger an eruption, the team says. Furthermore, in the double-layered experimental setup, not only did the foam layer collapse, but the remnant foam mixed with the underlying liquid layer.