Volcano Eruption

Today we did an experiment to see how magma builds pressure in a volcano.We each got into teams of three people and drew up a table in our book and collected the equipment for our experiment.

First, we pour a bit of water into the canister.

Then, Break the tablet in half and put it in the canister and immediately put the lid on. At the same time, press ‘start’ on the stopwatch. After a while, POP!! the lid ‘exploded’.





For an assignment, Year 6 had to do an explanation on how volcanoes work. We had done a few explanations in class so everybody knew how to write them. I researched for a couple of days on volcanoes but only for a day as we had learnt a lot about them at school. I decided to complete my explanation in a different way, I used a website called Prezi which makes presentations more interesting. This the link to my Prezi!! Hope you enjoy it.

Volcano Shapes

Yesterday we had a science lesson on our topic, volcanoes. In this lesson we were investigating whether the viscosity of lava effected a volcanoes shape. To be able to tell if this was true we decided to do an experiment, although we obviously couldnt use real lava so instead we used a mix of flour and water.

To test many different types of viscosity we had 3 different mixtures of the liquid with different amounts of water. There was a high viscosity liquid which had 3 and a half tablespoons of water, a medium viscosity liquid which had 3 and 3 quaters of a tablespoon of water and finally a low viscosity liquid with 4 tablespoons of water.

We then conducted the experiment which consisted of pouring each liquid onto a plate and then after timing it for two minutes we would see how far it had spread out by measuring the circumfrance of the liquid which had then formed a circle. Our results from this was that the high viscosity liquid had the smallest cricumfrance because it was thicker and didnt get the chance spread out as much as the low vicostity liquid which was much thinner and had the largest circumfrance.

The way our experiment tied in with the effect of the viscosity of a lava on the shape of the volcano is that the lava with high viscosity would have a higher shaped volcano because it doenst flatten as much as the low viscosity lava whcih would be in a more spread out shaped volcano.

Over all, I very much enjoyed this lesson and it really helped me understand everything better by doing the experiment and seeing it with my own eyes.




A Burning Issue


Over 24 hours the city of Pompeii was turned to rubble when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD. 2,000 people survived the first eruption, but after a second, more powerful eruption the following day, no one survived. 13, 000 people where killed in this fatal eruption. The town was buried under rock and ash, the city of Pompeii to be forgotten, until 1595, when the construction of an aqueduct, an underwater river system, revealed some parts of Pompeii, buried under rock and stone.

The people of Naples, Italy (the closest town to the only active volcano in Europe) still live in fear beside the active volcano, Mount Vesuvius, unsure when the next eruption will hit.


Parts of a Volcano

There are five main parts of a volcano:

The Crater: the hole at the top of the volcano where the magma/lava comes out.

The Cone: the outer layer of the volcano.

The Vent: an opening for fumes, air and smoke to be let out.

The Pipe: a long tube that leads from the vent of the volcano to the magma chamber.

The Magma Chamber: a large hole under the ground which carries the hot magma.


Fact: There is one difference between magma and lava, which is that when inside the volcano, the hot liquid is called magma and when it comes out of the volcano it is called lava.


Why Volcanoes Eruptions Occur

Some volcano eruptions are caused by two tectonic plates (the two sub-layers of the earth’s crust, that move, float, and sometimes collide, which can cause continental drift and some major disasters, like tsunamis, earthquakes and eruptions) that push together and because of the force, one of the plates will push above the other one, and if the tectonic plate is under a volcano’s magma chamber then it will cause the magma to rise and erupt.


I hope you have learnt a lot about volcanoes and how they react.

Picture 2-Mount Vesuvius eruption 1756, painting by Sir William Hamilton, vulcanologist (1730-1803)
Mount Vesuvius eruption 1756, painting by Sir William Hamilton, vulcanologist (1730-1803) Creative Commons