Steve Sparks on What Makes a Volcano Erupt

07.29.2020 - By Geology Bites By Oliver Strimpel

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Steve Sparks has turned our ideas about volcanoes upside down.  Not quite literally, but by applying the physics of fluid motion to the rocks and magma below volcanoes, he discovered that magma forms slowly at much greater depths than previously thought, eventually forming an unstable blob that forces its way up through the overlying rocks to erupt from a volcano. 

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