Segments in this Video

What is a Volcano? (01:34)


A volcano is a rupture in the Earth's outer crust that enables material to escape. Volcanoes are either active, dormant or extinct.

How Volcanoes are Formed (03:02)

The Earth consists of three basic layers: crust, mantle, core. Magma erupts through weak points in the crust. When tectonic plates meet and rub, volcanoes result. The Ring of Fire constitutes 75% of the world's volcanoes.

Types of Volcanoes (03:16)

Volcanoes come in various shapes and sizes: strato, shield, subglacial, and submarine. Strato volcanoes are the most prevalent and dangerous. More than 3,000 people died when Mt. Vesuvius erupted.

Record Breaking Volcanoes (02:04)

Mt. Stromboli has been continuously erupting for the last 2,000 years; it is topped only by Mt. Etna which has erupted for 3,500 years. When Krakatoa, a volcanic island, erupted it made the loudest sound ever made on Earth.

Deadliest Volcano (03:33)

On May 8, 1902, Mount Pelée erupted killing 30,000 people; it was the deadliest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. All four engines of a passenger air plane failed while flying through a cloud of ash from erupting Mount Galunggung.

Shield Volcanoes (02:45)

Tragedy was averted when Soufrière Hills volcano erupted in 1997; inhabitants were evacuated. The second most common type of volcano is the shield. The most-studied volcano is Kilauea in Hawaii.

Subglacial & Submarine Volcanoes (02:10)

Even when erupting, subglacial volcanoes do not break through the ice. Submarine volcanoes make themselves known by blasting steam and debris above the surface.

Mountain of Fire (03:07)

In 1973, Iceland's Eldfell erupted. The town was evacuated. The town was destroyed. and to divert its progress, which would have destroying the harbor, seawater was sprayed on the river of molten rock.

Skaftáreldar (02:40)

The Laki eruption occurred in June 1783, when a 16 mile fissure opened up on the south of the island. It produced one of the greatest lava flows ever seen; it was up to 10-miles wide in places.

Super Volcanoes (03:43)

Super volcanoes have the potential to cause devastation on an unimaginable scale. They could block out the sun and trigger a new ice age. When Toba blew 75,000 years ago, it was said to be the most powerful eruption in the past 2 million years.

Mount St. Helens (03:04)

In 1980, Mount St. Helens exploded with a roar that could be heard 2,000 miles away. It killed 60 people and destroyed everything in its path.

Mount Pinatubo (04:07)

In 1991, Mount Pinatubo erupted, the second largest of the 20th century, and was followed by a devastating typhoon. By the time it was over, nearly 850 people were dead. It was ten times more powerful than the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.

Mount Nyiragongo (02:16)

In 2002, Mount Nyiragongo erupted killing 45 people through carbon dioxide poisoning and falling houses. It is considered on of the most destructive eruption in recent times.

Vulcanologists (06:29)

Predicting when and where a volcano will erupt is not an exact science. Volcanologists prefer to use the word forecast rather than predict. Several vulcanologists have been killed studying volcanoes.

Credits: Killer Volcanoes: The World's Worst Disasters (00:39)

Credits: Killer Volcanoes: The World's Worst Disasters

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Killer Volcanoes: The World's Worst Disasters

Part of the Series : The World's Worst Disasters
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A volcano is one of nature’s most devastating and unpredictable forces. Once it starts to erupt there is no power on earth which can stop it. Spewing great choking clouds of ash and smoke miles into the atmosphere, a violently erupting volcano can reshape the landscape. It can also kill hundreds (if not thousands of people) as deadly torrents of molten rock and superheated gas cascade down the side, overwhelming and destroying everything in their path. No matter how closely volcanoes are studied and monitored, they remain one of nature’s most volatile and destructive elements. A BBC Production.

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: BVL95237

ISBN: 978-1-68272-431-6

Copyright date: ©2008

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