Article Series

Series: Volcanic Features and Landforms

Volcanic processes are constantly changing the Earth. Eruptions can create new islands, build and destroy mountains, and alter landscapes. Active, dormant, and ancient remnants of eruptions are all contained within our National Parks. [Site Under Development]

  • Chapter 1: Craters

    sunset crater volacno

    Craters form as the result of explosive eruptive activity at a volcanic vent where rock, magma, and other material is ejected leaving a conical void. Read more

  • Chapter 2: Calderas

    snow covered aniakchak caldera

    Calderas are large-scale landforms that develop after enormous eruptions of magma empty underground magma chamber(s). The volcanic landscape above the void(s) collapses downward and forms the caldera. Read more

  • Chapter 3: Lava Flows

    lava falls area of el malpais

    Lava can flow out of fissures and vents forming a variety of features depending on the composition and viscosity. Learn about the two types of basaltic lava flows: 'A'a and Pahoehoe. Read more

  • Chapter 4: Diatremes and Maars

    lake and tundra

    Diatreme-Maar volcanic landforms are produced by explosive eruptions that cut into pre-eruption rock and form tephra ring deposits surrounding the crater. Read more

  • Chapter 5: Lava Tubes

    inside lava tube near entrance

    Lava tubes are formed as an an active lava flow continues to flow beneath its own cooling exterior. The molten lava is insulated in the underground conduit of and continues to drain. The remaining empty passage is called a lava tube or lava cave. Read more

  • Chapter 6: Fumaroles

    steam rising from ground

    Fumaroles emit steam and gas in volcanic areas as a result of water that comes into contact with high temperature rock underground. Read more

  • Chapter 7: Geothermal Features

    geothermal area

    Heat from volcanic activity can create features such as hot springs, geysers, and mud pots. Read more