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Volcanic Processes

Tsunami hazard warning signs from the United States (left) and Japan (right).
Tsunami hazard warning signs from the United States (left) and Japan (right). Tsunamis can be triggered by earthquakes related to volcanic activity.
Overview: A variety of volcanic processes shape landscapes. Students are introduced to volcanic hazards that may be present for humans near the volcano. A volcano does not have to be active in order for some types of hazards to occur. Volcanic hazards can be categorized into gases, lahars, landslides, lava flows, tsunamis, pyroclastic flows and tephra. Many different volcanic hazards endanger the lives of Japanese and American citizens. After students are able to identify the volcanic processes they then identify which pose hazards locally. Students will prepare a brochure to educate the public on hazards of their local mountain and how to mitigate danger.
Grade Level:
6 - 9
Objectives: Students will:
  • Recognize the scope of geologic processes that occur at Cascade volcanoes.
  • Describe volcanic processes.
  • Identify a variety of volcanic hazards and appropriate responses.
  • Communicate geologic processes to the public to raise their awareness of potential hazards.
Lesson Plan:
Volcanic Processes - word, 49KB
Volcanic Processes - pdf, 561KB
Resources: Volcanic Processes Powerpoint
Volcanic Hazards Update Powerpoint
Volcanic Processes Rubric
Volcanic Processes Hazard Maps
Common Volcanic Processes at Cascade Volcanoes
Student Handout - Volcanic Processes Definition Guide
Student Handout - Process Brochure

Did You Know?

Visitor exploring the former Paradise Ice Caves.

For many years, the Paradise Ice Caves were a popular attraction at Mount Rainier. Until the 1980s, visitors could explore passages within the Paradise Glacier which had formed due to seasonal melting of the ice. By the early 1990s, climate change had melted away the last traces of the caves. More...