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The Six Most Active Volcanoes of the Philippines

What's a Volcano?

A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface. Earth's volcanoes occur because its crust is broken into 17 major, rigid tectonic plates that float on a hotter, softer layer in its mantle.

Why does the Philippines have many volcanoes?

The Philippines sits on a unique tectonic setting ideal to volcano formation. The archipelago is surrounded by subducting plates as manifested by the trenches that are related to volcano formation.

Volcanic phenomena directly associated with eruption

Lava flow, dome growth
Pyroclastic flow, pyroclastic surge, lateral blast
Tephra fall - ash fall, volcanic bomb
Volcanic gas

Volcanic phenomena indirectly associated with eruption

  • Lahar, flooding
  • Debris avalanche, landslide
  • Tsunami, seiche
  • Subsidence, fissuring
  • Secondary/hydrothermal explosion
  • Secondary pyroclastic flow

Other Eruption Phenomena

Debris avalanche - fast downhill movement of soil and rock, speed: 70 km/hr (due to high water content and steep slopes) caused by slope failure on the cones of stratovolcanoes

Hydrothermal explosions - explosions from instantaneous flashing of steam upon contact with hot rocks

Secondary explosions are caused by the contact of water with hot pyroclastic flow deposits.

Subsidence is a ground deformation resulting from the downward adjustment of surface materials to the voids caused by volcanic activity. This may result also from mine workings or geothermal water or oil extraction.

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Type of Hazards

Lava Flow

Lava flow is a higly elongated mass of molten rock materials cascading downslope from an erupting vent. The lava flow being extruded has low silica and low water contents.

Rate of flow: 3 km/day (slightly high viscosity) or 45 km/hour (low viscosity). Speed and geometry of lava flows depend on local topography. Steep slopes encourage faster and longer flows than gentle slopes or terrain.

Dome Growth
Pyroclstic Flow
Pyroclastic Surge
Hot Blasts
Tephra Falls
Volcanic Gas
Lahar
Tsunami