Fumaroles: A Natural Source

Topics: Volcano, Plate tectonics, Earth Pages: 1 (385 words) Published: May 8, 2012
The Earth is always forming and releasing pressure in different ways. Sometimes the Earth’s mantle builds up so much pressure that it starts to shift tectonic plates, and due to this we can see changes on our surface as well. We experience big changes like volcanoes, earthquakes, trembles, and continental drift, but a few minor things happen as well. Some of these minor results can include geysers and fumaroles. A fumarole is a very important formation that is needed to release pressure from deep inside the Earth, and it has always been an interesting topic to learn about for scientists.

A fumarole is a vent in the ground that has heated up groundwater to such a point that it is only steam when it reaches the surface. Most of the time fumaroles form around areas of high volcanic activity, or by a dormant volcano. All fumaroles have a long, irregular shaped tube that is usually at least a few miles deep and filled with groundwater at the bottom. Pressure built up from tectonic movement can instantly heat up the groundwater and then shoot it up constantly. Fumaroles are classified as the hottest of all springs, which is the most major factor that makes them different from all others. Many times fumaroles shoot out different minerals that are found in the particular area along with the steam, which makes them even more exclusive.

Like all geological things, fumaroles are changing constantly. In some cases, fumaroles can exist for centuries , or at other times they can exist for only a few days because fresh lava from a volcano has hardened on top of the vent and sealed it off. Usually when volcanoes are close to erupting, they begin to release out volcanic gases that come out of fumaroles, and scientists can measure these gases to see how close the magma is to the surface, and in how much time the volcano will erupt. Fumaroles are active when tectonic plates move underneath the surface and then builds up pressure that heats up the groundwater, and then then...
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