CLAUS LUNAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CLAUS LUNAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mud volcano formation. Artwork showing the stages in the formation of a mud volcano. At left, sediment on the ocean floor is drawn into a subduction zone where two continental plates are colliding. At centre, pressure from below pushes up the sediment and mud between the plate boundary (now below land). Volcanic forces eventually form a vent to the surface, and mud flows out from the volcano that forms, destroying the surrounding area (right). Sometimes, such eruptions can be triggered by the drilling of gas wells (one at right).
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