Volcano UPSC: Types of Volcanes and Volcanic Eruption

By K Balaji|Updated : November 8th, 2022

Volcano is an opening in the earth’s crust, and through this, ash, steam, lava, gases, etc., erupts. Such openings in the earth’s crust occur where the rock strata are relatively weak. There are both explosive and non-explosive Volcanoes. On the basis of the explosive nature of the Volcano, different landforms can be formed, such as mountains (if it is explosive) and plateaus (if it’s not explosive).

In this article, we have provided Volcano UPSC Notes that would help the candidate during their preparation for the UPSC exam. Here we have mentioned the major types of Volcanoes from which questions can be asked.

Table of Content

What is Volcano?

Volcanoes are explained as mountains or landforms. Here the molten rocks appear from the planet’s surface, and Volcano mountain opens under the molten rocks pool inside the surface of the earth.

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  • In other words, Volcano can be defined as a fissure or vent in the earth’s crust where ash, gases, lava, etc., come out.
  • Those Volcanoes that have appeared in the recent past are named Active Volcanoes.
  • Magma is the term used to describe the related materials and molten rocks spotted inside the earth. When the magma comes out to the surface of the earth through Volcano’s vent, it is called Lava.

Types of Volcanoes

The Volcanoes have been classified on the basis of their eruption and the form developed on the surface. We have mentioned the Types of Volcanoes below.

Shield Volcanoes

  • These are the largest Volcanoes active currently on the earth’s surface, and they are made up of basalt.
  • These Volcanoes can become explosive if water goes inside the vent. Otherwise, these are less explosive in nature.
  • The shield Volcanoes have low slopes, and they consist of frozen lavas.
  • The upcoming lava comes in fountain form and throws out the cone at the vent’s top, and develops into a cinder cone. One example of shield volcanoes is Hawaiian shield volcanoes.

Composite Volcanoes

  • Composite Volcanoes are characterized by outbreaks of viscous and cooler lavas than basalt.
  • These Volcanoes formed from many explosive eruptions.
  • The materials gathered near the openings of the vent result in the formation of layers.
  • A significant amount of ashes and pyroclastic gets wiped out with lava.

Caldera Volcanoes

  • These are known as the most explosive Volcanoes on the planet.
  • These Volcanoes are mostly explosive in nature, and during eruptions, they collapse on themselves. This collapsed depression is known as calderas.

Mid-Ocean Ridge Volcanoes

  • These Volcanoes are spotted in oceanic areas.
  • The central part of the ridge witness frequent eruptions

Flood Basalt Provinces

  • These Volcanoes discharge highly fluid lava that travels for long distances.
  • Many places in the world are covered by thick basalt lava flows.

Volcano: Interesting Facts

The formation of a Volcano is due to the eruptions of ash and lava.

  • The Volcano looks like a cone-shaped hill or mountain.
  • When the magma reaches the surface of the earth, it is referred to as lava. On cooling down on lava, it leads to the formation of rock.
  • There are some Volcanoes that can also occur inside the water.

Volcano UPSC

Questions related to Volcanoes and Types of Volcanoes can be asked in the UPSC Exam as this topic is a part of the UPSC Syllabus. So, candidates need to be prepared with the Volcano UPSC notes that would help answer all the questions asked on this particular topic. In addition, candidates can also follow standard UPSC Books and other study materials to know about this topic in detail.

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FAQs on Volcano

  • A volcano is a fissure or vent in the Earth’s crust from where ash, lava, gases, and rocks erupt. The Volcanoes that have erupted in the recent past are called active volcanoes.

  • The Volcanoes have been classified based on the form developed and the nature of eruption at the surface. The different types of Volcanoes are Shield Volcanoes, Composite Volcanoes, Caldera, Flood Basalt Provinces, and Mid-Ocean Ridge Volcanoes.

  • The formation of Volcanoes is majorly due to the emergence of magma in the lower section of the earth’s crust. The earth's crust includes plates that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, and the friction that happens due to the movement of plates results in volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

  • The major Volcanoes in India include Barren Island (Andaman Islands), Baratang(Andaman Islands), and Dhinodhar Hills (Gujarat). Barren Island and Baratang are active volcanoes.

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