When a part of the earth's upper mantle or lower crust melts, magma forms. A volcano is essentially an opening or a vent through which this magma and the dissolved gases it contains are discharged. Although there are several factors triggering a volcanic eruption, three predominate: the buoyancy of the magma, the pressure from the ex-solved gases in the magma and the injection of a new batch of magma into an already filled magma chamber.
As rock inside the earth melts, its mass remains the same while its volume increases--producing a melt that is less dense than the surrounding rock. This lighter magma then rises toward the surface by virtue of its buoyancy. If the density of the magma between the zone of its generation and the surface is less than that of the surrounding and overlying rocks, the magma reaches the surface and erupts.
Magmas of so-called andesitic and rhyolitic compositions also contain dissolved volatiles such as water, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide. Experiments have shown that the amount of a dissolved gas in magma (its solubility) at atmospheric pressure is zero, but rises with increasing pressure.
The third process that causes volcanic eruptions is an injection of new magma into a chamber that is already filled with magma of similar or different composition. This injection forces some of the magma in the chamber to move up in the conduit and erupt at the surface.
Although volcanologists are aware of these three processes, they cannot yet predict a volcanic eruption. But they have made significant advances in forecasting volcanic eruptions. Forecasting involves probable character and time of an eruption in a monitored volcano. The character of an eruption is based on the prehistoric and historic record of the volcano in question and its volcanic products. For example, a violently erupting volcano that has produced ash fall, ash flow and volcanic mudflows (or lahars) is likely to do the same in the future.
With this incident comes the problem of volcanic ash fall which leads to the problematic situations you would often encounter:
- Volcanic ash fall covering your car.
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- Heavy traffic jams especially the areas which are affected.
- Unable to use the AC of your vehicle due to the rocky substance these ash falls may produce.
- Uneasy feeling due to the volcanic ashes falling upon you.
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