CLAUS LUNAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CLAUS LUNAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Erupting volcano. Cutaway computer artwork of an erupting volcano, showing the internal structure. Volcanoes are places where magma (molten rock, orange) emerges from beneath the Earth's crust. This can lead to the formation of a volcanic cone, as here. The eruption can be violent, with large ash columns forming. Plinian eruptions can form an ash column reaching up several kilometres to the stratosphere. During the eruption, lower parts of the ash column can collapse, forming a pyroclastic flow that surges down the volcano's slopes (centre right). Also shown here are an ash cloud that has formed in the atmosphere above the volcano, and acid rain falling from the ash cloud.
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